For anyone who has seen former North Crowley guard Jordon Myers lift off in a basketball game over a defender and to the rim, it’s hard not to think of two other former Panthers.
One was Keith Langford, a slashing guard who helped take Kansas to two Final Fours after graduating from North Crowley in 2001. It was Langford’s career mark of 844 rebounds at North Crowley that Myers topped last season to become No. 1 in school history on the boards.
The other was Willie Warren, maybe the only North Crowley player with a meaner finish at the rim than Myers possesses. He graduated in 2008 and authored “the dunk” in the Panthers’ 2008 state title game win over Fort Bend Dulles before becoming Blake Griffin’s running mate at Oklahoma.
But Myers won’t be following in their footsteps to a major Division I college basketball program, at least not immediately. The three-time District 4-6A MVP signed Wednesday with Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College at a quiet post-signing-day event at Panther Fieldhouse.
“I believe, whether it’s a [junior college] or a [NCAA Division I] program, to me it’s all about finding the right match,” said North Crowley coach Tommy Brakel. “It’s about finding a place where they’re going to be happy; finding a place where they can stick, and all parties involved feel really comfortable with him going to Hutchinson.”
Myers, a Star-Telegram Super Team first-first teamer for 2016-17, led North Crowley in scoring (17.4 points per game), rebounding (8.4) and shot-blocking (1.2) from a guard position. He shot 58 percent from the field and 34 percent from 3-point range, while handing out 3.2 assists per game and taking away three steals a game. He was the second four-year letterman in team history.
“The numbers speak for themselves when you’re talking about talent level,” Brakel said. “Jordon will leave high school in the top five of every meaningful stat category for guys that have played here.”
According to the recruiting service 247Sports, the 6-4 Myers was the 17th-rated recruit in Texas with a three-star rating.
Hutchinson is one of the most decorated junior college basketball programs in the nation and won the NJCAA national championship to cap a 35-2 season in March.
“He may qualify [academically] when it’s all said and done, but instead of getting on somewhere at the last moment because a Division I program missed on someone, this was the right choice for Jordon,” Brakel said. “That isn’t necessarily the right reason to go somewhere, so why not go to a place like Hutchinson, that throws more resources at basketball than almost any other [junior college program] in the country? Then a year or two down the line he can move into a Division I program.”
North Crowley has sent 75 players to play at the college level throughout Brakel’s tenure at the school.
Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817