Messenger file photo by Alex Chaney
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
If you’re averaging almost 20 points a game, chances are that you’ll attract special interest from the opposition.
Jordan Presley did not just deal with that extra attention.
He thrived under it.
Despite being bird-dogged by the other team’s top defender on most nights, the Hokes Bluff junior forward poured in 19.3 points per game while shooting 55 percent from the field, 32 percent from three-point range and 77 percent from the foul line. He also was good for 5.5 rebounds a game. Presley’s sharpshooting helped the Eagles win the Class 3A Area 12 Tournament and host a subregional playoff game for the first time in several years.
“I’ve only coached two or three kids that loved basketball as much or more than I do, and Jordan is one of them,” said his dad and coach, Jason Presley.
“He pours his heart into the game, and I believe the team noticed how much pressure Jordan puts on himself, which is a trait he inherits from his father.
I‘ve seen him have a poor shooting night and shoot for two hours after the game, even if we won. One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Everyone wants to be the lion until it’s time to do lion stuff.’ If I had to sum up Jordan’s contribution to our basketball program and team, he is willing to do the lion stuff.”
Jordan Presley’s talent and tenacity made him the Player of the Year for the All-Messenger boys basketball team.
Presley’s first-team teammates include Etowah senior Dee Spears, Westbrook Christian senior Evans Sizemore, Sardis sophomore Luke Martin, Coosa Christian junior Hayden Peek and West End senior Isaiah Roberson. Spears averaged 17 points, 5.0 rebounds and four assists along with 52 steals. Sizemore dominated the post area with a per-game double-double of 13.9 points and 10.4 rebounds while averaging 3.1 blocks. Martin who helped the Lions win their first-ever Etowah County Schools tournament in January, averaged a team-high 15.5 points per game while shooting 74 percent from the free throw line and 38 percent from three-point range. In 23 games, Peek averaged 17.7 points, 8.5 rebounds while shooting 35 percent from downtown. Roberson contributed 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds along with 38 steals and 35 deflections. Jason Presley received Coach of the Year honors.
The All-Defensive Team features Hokes Bluff senior Harrison Milllander, Sardis senior J.J. Anderson, Westbrook sophomore Cooper Greer, Coosa Christian junior Jacoby Tucker, Southside sophomore Will Shirley, Glencoe senior Kade Kueny and Gaston junior Kobi Harris.
Selected to the All-Messenger second team were Sardis sophomore Eli Morton, Etowah junior Steven Jones, Hokes Bluff senior Avron Nix, Gadsden City senior Maleek Kidd and Ashville senior Ashton Vann.
Earning honorable mention recognition were West End junior Thad Pearce, Westbrook senior Brodie Self, Southside senior Taylor Carr, Hokes Bluff senior Kyle Patterson, Glencoe junior Andrew Greene and Gaston junior Will Bagley.