Jordan Graham’s basketball roots run deep

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, February 14, 2018

By Keith Taylor

Special to The Sun

Jordan Graham’s biggest fan is his dad. Robbie Graham also is his toughest critic.

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The George Rogers Clark junior point guard doesn’t mind hearing raves and reviews from his dad, who is in his sixth season as girls basketball coach at the high school.

“He’s a good mentor,” Jordan said. “He’s my dad and he’s always going to criticize me. Even though I don’t listen all of the time, he knows what he’s talking about. He’s always going to be there for me and he’s always going to cheer for me. He sees what other people don’t see in my game and what to work on.”

Playing basketball is a natural fit for Jordan, who grew up around the game. His dad was a longtime assistant coach on the boys team at Clark and played at Fleming County. His mother, Deena was a cheerleader at Fleming County.

His older sister Lexxus, a senior guard at Campbellsville, played for the Lady Cardinals and helped lead Clark to the state semifinals during her senior campaign in 2014. For the Grahams, sports are a family affair, but also a juggling act for the entire family.

“I don’t get to watch every game,” Graham said. “When I get home at night, we will talk about (his) game and riding to school we will talk about the game. With Lexxus playing, Jordan playing and me coaching, it’s tough, especially on my wife (Deena) and everybody. That’s what we do, what we’re about and we’re a basketball family. We love the game and we make do.”

Jordan is getting recruiting pitches from Morehead State, Northern Kentucky University, University of Lafayette (Louisiana) among others. He expects that list to expand in the near future.

“It’s slow (right now), but it’s getting there,” Graham said.

Although a versatile athlete, the 6-foot-3 junior serves as the team’s point guard, a natural fit considering his basketball upbringing.

“I like being the point guard and putting pressure on the ball and I make good decisions,” he said.

Clark coach Josh Cook said Graham has improved during the two seasons and is willing to learn how to handle point-guard duties. Cook said his unselfishness nature stands out above his natural skills.

“He has gotten better,” Cook said. “He’s being pushed and he has an open mind. He wants to get better and he’s a great kid and very unselfish. He’s working very hard and he’s been a great leader playing the point-guard position.”

Robbie agreed.

“He passes the ball really well and he sees the floor really well,” Robbie said. “He’s doing a good job of leading that team and he’s got a lot of really good players around him. They play well together.”

Bracken County coach Jason Hinson hasn’t been surprised by Jordan’s emergence as one of the top players in the 10th Region.

“He’s a special kid,” Hinson said. “He’s super-talented and me and his dad go way back. His dad was at Fleming County all those years and we grew up around each other. He’s a special athlete.”

Along with his athletic skills, Hinson said Jordan’s understanding of the game is one of his biggest traits.

“His basketball IQ is his big thing,” Hinson said. “It’s in his blood and in his family. He understands when to make the right pass and make the right shot. I think this game is 85-90 percent mental. He’s very smart and intelligent and he’s definitely a special player.”

Where does he get his basketball intelligence?

“Robbie Graham,” Jordan said with a laugh.

It runs in the family.