SJ Freshman Basketball Stands Tall
Beau Bourlon ’18
The Strake Jesuit freshman basketball class of 2019 is definitely something to keep an eye out for. The Freshman A Team is currently standing at an impressive 24-1 record and confidently sitting atop the Freshman 19-6a basketball standings with a 12-0 district record and just two district games remaining. With Jesuit being in a tough 19-6a district, the freshman boys gallantly cruised through tough district opponents of Tompkins, Morton Ranch, and Seven Lakes. Even if they lose the last two games (versus Morton Ranch and Tompkins), the boys will cap of the season with the best record out of any freshman team Jesuit has ever had.
The freshman class kicked off the season beating Dawson 48-36 and destroying St. Thomas 58-46 on the road. Then, they cruised through the Jesuit Classic Tournament and Woodlands Tournament with key wins over Dickenson, Nimitz, and The Woodlands. After a tough loss to Clear Springs, the men in green bounced back and won 14 games in a row, including crucial district wins over Morton Ranch, Seven Lakes, and Tompkins.
The team is lead by an abundance of players. The two athletic big men, Thomas Gordon and Liam Dillon, stand at an enormous 6’5 and 6’6 and provide a dominant post game and create block parties below the basket. Jesuits guards are also a serious issue for opponents, with players Jordan Johnson, Thomas Teague, and Michael Wiley providing a scary backcourt. Jordan Johnson, a 6’2 shooting guard has an impressive mid-range game with explosive driving ability. Thomas Teague, a 5’10 point guard, is dead accurate from three point range and provides great passing for the offense. Michael Wiley, another shooting guard, is lightning quick off the dribble and provides stellar defense for the crusaders. Finally, the 6’4 power forward, Nathaniel Beal, incorporates matchup nightmares for opponents with his shooting ability and quickness.
I talked to the players on Thursday during lunch on their thoughts of their class. They all agreed that their strength is attacking the basket and playing fundamental basketball. But their best and most significant strength is their team chemistry. Thomas Gordon stated, “We all knew each other coming into Jesuit because we had played with and against each other in middle school. Some of us played each other in AAU basketball. I think because we all knew each other beforehand, it created a bond because now we are all apart of one team.” Thomas Teague also said, “We understand each other. We aren’t selfish. We don’t care who has the most points or who stands out the most. All we care about is getting wins.” The Jesuit basketball team slogan is We > Me, and the coaches would agree that they surely embody that.
When asked about the future and vision of the program, the boys all said something in common. That’s to be great. “We want to be great. Simple as that,” Jordan Johnson remarked. Nathaniel Beal added, “We want to bring Jesuit back to the glory days. We want to be like the 2009 team that went to state, but we need to take it one step at a time.” In 2009, Jesuit’s basketball team under Coach Wayne Jones went 37-1 and were at one point ranked the third best high school team in the nation. Behind Tim Frazier ’09, who is currently playing for the Portland Trail Blazers, Joey Brooks ’09, who played for Notre Dame, and Steven Rodgers ’09 who played at Arkansas State, the team went to the 6a Texas UIL Basketball State Championships before losing to DeSoto in the semi-finals.
Regardless of how the freshman team finishes this year, they will have made their mark in history and be known as one of the top freshman classes in the city of Houston. Watch out Jesuit fans, the class of 2019 is out to prove something and could be something special. We are SJ!