Friday, December 22, 2017

Eagle to Tommie: Jordan Underhill

Jordan Underhill via STU
Jordan Underhill is another prime example of a student who came from our small community and has sealed a spot on a university roster.

Jordan spent most of his childhood in Ontario, until he and his family moved to Fredericton when he was in grade 8.

He always had an overwhelming love for the game of basketball, but did not try out for very many teams during his school years. His first year of Varsity Basketball in high school was during his senior year when he played for our Eagles.

After graduating Jordan still wanted to be part of his former team and transfer his love of the game to his former teammates. Underhill decided to join the team as the assistant coach along with Loretta Gorbett who had coached him. Jordan became a big part of the team and its coaching staff as he coached the boys alongside Loretta for the next four years. He also coached elementary basketball when he was in grade 12 and middle school basketball for one season.
Jordan Underhill with Blackville High School Team

The high school team had some great success during these four seasons, and they have continued this success into their current season.

Last year the boys had one of their best seasons in years, and they're hoping to continue to build on that. Underhill left the coaching staff to pursue his own basketball dreams.

Underhill is now a member of the St. Thomas University Tommies Basketball team. He worked hard over the past few years to develop his skills enough so that he could compete at the university level. Underhill's hard work has been paying off as he made the team in his rookie season.

We caught up with Underhill to ask him a couple of questions about the team and university life, as well as his thoughts on the current Eagles season so far.

"When did you first start playing basketball?"

" I got my first basketball net when I was 7, but I didn't join a team until grade 8."

"What other sports were you interested in during high school?"

" I liked golf, hockey, softball, soccer, and volleyball."

"What are your hopes for the team moving forward?"

"I hope we are able to make the playoffs and finish the season above .500."

"What motivated you to work towards the goal of making the team?"

"I wanted to be a role model to other kids in the community, and to show that people from our area can play at the university level."

"Do you have any comments about the Eagles team that you helped coach last year?"

" I think that they are still taking steps in the right direction. I think that the boys should be able to win the North-Eastern conference. Jesse Frenette and I worked together all summer on our basketball skills and it is showing on the court. Dan Richard has continued to play at an All-star level. With the addition of Devon Edwards it gives the boys another threat from three. Other players like Macaully Gillespie, Calvin Keenan, and Jacob Mercer have really stepped up defensively. All and all I think they are in a good spot with a great coaching staff."

"What are you taking in University?"

"I am currently working towards becoming a teacher."

"Do you find it hard getting your work done along with playing basketball?"

"Time management is the most difficult part of university, with practice, homework, and individual workouts it can be hard to find free time."

"Do you plan on returning to coaching with the Blackville program if you get the chance in the future?"

"I'd love to come back and continue to grow this program to be Provincial contenders every season."

"What goals do you have set for yourself moving forward with this season?"

"In Basketball I would like to become more athletic and a better defender. In education I would like to develop better study habits. Also, I would like to be an Academic All Canadian (CCAA), which is an award given to athletes who can maintain an average of 80% or higher."

Jordan Underhill (first one on the right from centre-back) with the Saint Thomas Basketball Team
Jordan is a fantastic example of never giving up on your goals and how hard work can pay off. Underhill is continuing to practice hard and improve his skills every single time he steps on the court. He makes Blackville proud.

The entire Eagles team would like to wish him the best of luck in the remainder of his season.

Anyone who wants to have a chance to see Jordan play can catch a glimpse of him at the Alumni game in the Blackville gym Saturday night (December 23, 2017).

by Daniel Richard and Marlee Schofield