Noelita Lawrence-Ricketts – Staff Reporter
Hillside, New Jersey in the United States, has been the home of talented young basketballer David Gordon for the past two weeks, and will be for at least the next 12-months.
The lanky 18-year-old, who experienced a rapid growth spurt while in the 10th grade, left the island in mid-August to take up a scholarship at Patrick High School – once home to NBA Champion and superstar, Kyrie Irving, who now plays for the Brooklyn Nets.
Supremely talented and expected to go the distance in the sport, Gordon, who started out his sporting career as a well-reliable goalkeeper, told the Western Mirror before departing that he will be doing a 1-year stint at the school before seeking College offers.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity and will be putting in the work, both on and off the court, as I look to impress while hoping to get some D-1 offers at the end of my time with Pat School,” said the towering 6’ 8” Gordon, who can handle the ball and can be lethal from behind the three point line.
Winner of the All-Island crown with the Herbert Morrison Technical High School (HMTHS) where they went through the season 18-0, Gordon says his love for the game started when he was in Grade 8 at the Bogue-based institution, following an introduction by motivator and coach, Dave Black.
Gordon, who, earlier in his career represented Jamaica at the Under-15 level – a time which still holds precious memories for him, is hoping to eventually pursue a career in Physiotherapy and Kinesiology in college.
He says his main goal right now is to play D1 basketball at a top university and one day make it to the NBA.
Ill-tempered in his early years, Gordon revealed that prior to being introduced to Basketball by Black in the schoolyard, he had no interest and was not a fan of the game.
Since being at Patrick High School, Gordon revealed to the Western Mirror, skills level and endurance have been the main targets of his training sessions, and that he has been coping well and has been received well by his new teammates.
He also revealed that, “The sessions are not much different from those here, just much more intense.”
A beast on the court, but soft-spoken off it, Gordon dedicates his early success to Coach Black, a few close friends and his number one supporter, his mother, who he says he will find it hard to adjust living away from, as she has been his strongest support system.
In paying tribute, Gordon says Black has given him a great head start in life and is encouraging youngsters aspiring to play the sport to remain focus and hungry, work hard and always have a positive mindset.