Jordan Hammonds has signed to play basketball at North Greenville.

There’s no denying that Jordan Hammonds is an exceptional player.

One look at his statistics during his career at South Laurel validate that. Twice he was named to the 13th Region Coaches All Region Team. As a senior at South Laurel, he was named to the AP All-State Honorable Mention team, the Kentucky Prep Classic MVP, 50th District and 13th Region All Tournament Team, and was a McDonald’s All American nominee.

As a freshmen, he was named to the 48th District and 12th Region All Tournament team, a feat he repeated as a sophomore, along with being a member of the 2005 state champion team.

But Hammonds is more than just an outstanding basketball player. He is also an outstanding individual, a Christian who believes that God has a plan for everybody.

Monday morning, God’s plan for Hammonds continued, as the Cardinal standout signed to play basketball at North Greenville, a Division II school in South Carolina.

“I felt comfortable down there,” Hammonds said. “God told me that was the place for me.”

“I’m very proud of him,” said Dennis Hammonds, his father who is also an assistant coach at South Laurel. “He has worked real hard to get to where he is at, and I’m probably more proud of his character than his basketball accomplishments.”

The elder Hammonds noted that North Greenville has been pursuing his son for the last two years, and the first question they asked Jordan was “Are you a Christian?”

“That really impressed me,” Hammonds said. “They also told Jordan that, if this is where God leads him, then that’s great. If not, there’s no hard feelings.”

Hammonds had been looking at other schools, including Pineville, Cumberlands, Georgetown and Union. But in the end, it was North Greenville that won out for the services of this very versatile and talented player, who averaged 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists as a senior.

“Jordan has a tremendous basketball I.Q.,” Coach Chad Lister said. “He comes from a first class program. Coach Wright has instilled character and a winning attitude in all of his players, and Jordan epitomizes what we want in our program.”

“I really liked the coaches and their attitude,” Hammonds said. “Their motto is ‘Christ Makes a Difference.’ I felt comfortable down there.” Hammonds said that he got some advice from former teammates Ty Proffitt and Walt Allen on making his final decision.

“Ty told me to sign where I feel comfortable at,” Hammonds said. “Him and Walt gave me a lot of good advice.”

“I personally think he will be a steal for them,” Coach Steve Wright said. “He’s got a big body and skills, and he’ll be able to play at that level. I think he will continue to improve and get better. He has the work ethic; he’ll get after it. He sees an opportunity to play.” Wright noted that Hammonds liked the Christian attitude of the school when he made his visit, and that he felt comfortable there.

“Jordan is quicker than what most people think, and he defends very well,” Lister said. “Those intangibles drew us to him. I first saw him in person two years ago, and I fell in love with what I saw. And the more I found out about him, the more I wanted to pursue him. He’ll be a perfect fit for us.”

“Coach Wright taught me that there will be ups and downs, not only in basketball, but in life,” Hammonds said. “He taught me to keep my head up and keep trying.”

Hammonds said that he will have to work on his quickness and get in better shape to succeed at the next level. “I want to try and help them win the most games they can,” he said. “I’ll probably be used as a small forward or shooting guard. I want to come in as a freshman and get as much playing time as possible.”

“He absolutely has a chance to come in and play as a freshman,” Lister said. “He’ll have to earn his spot, and with our style, he’ll have to post and score on the block, or he might be asked to bring the ball up the floor. He does a lot of things well.”

Hammonds said his fondest memory of South Laurel will be winning the state title in 2005, and all of his teammates and coaches, and the success that they have had.

“He’s excited,” Wright said. “He likes to play, and right now he and Ty are conditioning with us. That’s how dedicated they are. It’s important that this school wanted him, and they will allow him not only the opportunity to play, but also a place to get a good education.”

“Talent, grades and character, he tops in all three,” Lister said. “We got ourselves a good one in Jordan.”

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