CeeJay Jordan remembers when his basketball team at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club won the North and South Carolina Boys & Girls Clubs Hoops Councils title in 2017.
“I’ll never forget that moment,” said CeeJay. “We lost so many times and to finally win! That meant a lot!”
Four years later, CeeJay was part of another championship basketball team. This time, he was a starter on his varsity high school basketball team, the team that defeated its opponent by two points to take the North Carolina Boys Basketball 4A state title!
CeeJay, who is 16 years old, said he tried not to be nervous coming into the biggest game of his life. He was part of the starting lineup and in the first 20 minutes of the game, scored six points shooting from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed seven rebounds and had an assist. CeeJay was on the floor when the final horn sounded.
“Actually to win the state championship not too far from where we won Hoops Councils with the Boys & Girls Clubs, that memory came back to me instantly,” he said. “Once that clock hit double zero, my emotions were to the roof!”
CeeJay credits The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs for helping him get to where he is now. He played t-ball, soccer, flag football, and of course basketball at the Club. He is a junior in high school and has a 3.0 grade point average. As a 6’4” guard on his team, he hopes to get a scholarship to play college basketball and then move on to play professionally.
“The Boys & Girls Club has helped me in so many ways,” he says. “I remember going there after school, playing with the older guys. The gym there is my home gym because that’s where it all started. My mom worked there and I would go there after school and they would let me get a ball and I would just shoot until it was time to go.”
CeeJay says the support from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, his high school basketball coach, and others helped him achieve his success. However, he gives the most credit to his mother, who has worked at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club for 15 years.
“I could go on for years about her,” he said. “She was there for me when I didn’t believe in myself. She gave me an opportunity to be the best that I can be. Going to work with her to use the gym. Building character for me. One of the first things I did (at the end of the game) was go and hug her. In that moment of her telling me that she was proud of me, just brought tears to my eyes.”
Just four days after winning the championship, CeeJay was right back where it all began, at The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club gymnasium, putting up shots, preparing to get back to the championship next year.