High School Sports

Faith Family freshman, who won state on buzzer-beating dunk, not letting Alopecia stop him

Oak Cliff Faith Family wins 4A title on game winning dunk

Freshman Jordan Walsh beat the buzzer with the game winning dunk as Faith Family won the 4A state title over Liberty Hill, Saturday March 9, 2019. Video credit Kenny Matthews, Friday Night Glory.
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Freshman Jordan Walsh beat the buzzer with the game winning dunk as Faith Family won the 4A state title over Liberty Hill, Saturday March 9, 2019. Video credit Kenny Matthews, Friday Night Glory.

Nearly five years ago, Jordan Walsh was diagnosed with Alopecia, a condition characterized by the complete loss of hair on the scalp and body.

“I was baffled about it at first and a little scared,” Walsh said. “I lost a little self confidence.”

But the next few years, Walsh gained his confidence back.

Alopecia made him unique.

“I realized that it just makes me different, makes me special,” he said. “I stand out and it just gives me energy to get me to where I am now.”

Where is Jordan now?

How about a state champion after the freshman dunked the game-winning bucket to send Oak Cliff Faith Family to its first state title in a 53-51 win over Liberty Hill in the Class 4A final on March 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Freshman Jordan Walsh beat the buzzer with the game winning dunk as Faith Family won the 4A state title over Liberty Hill, Saturday March 9, 2019. Video credit Kenny Matthews, Friday Night Glory.

“I feel on top of the world. I feel like I’m the man,” Walsh said. “Glad my teammates made it available for me.”

“I can’t even believe we’ve done it,” Faith Family coach Brandon Thomas added. “To win it in that fashion, it’s unreal. It’s a story-book ending.”

Walsh went 5 of 9 from the field and scored 11 points to go with four steals and one assist.

“When I first met Jordan, I was obviously impressed with his athleticism,” Thomas said. “Lot of poise to play at such a high level. I’m really proud at his growth.”

Walsh, who is the first person in his family to get Alopecia, doesn’t let the condition stop him. Standing at 6-foot-7, he’s one of the bright young stars in the game for the next three seasons.

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Faith Family Academy freshman Jordan Walsh vs. Liberty Hill in the 4A state title game, Saturday March 9, 2019. Matthew Smith Southlake Sports Pics

“My parents, peers and coaches play a big part,” he said. “My coaches don’t treat me any different. It’s amazing to see how far I’ve come from where I started. I thank all my supporters who’ve been with me all this way and I’m just glad we could come out with a state championship.”

“Future is bright with Jordan and Trae Clayton (another freshman, who was voted state title game MVP),” Thomas added. “To get that kind of experience with these guys at such a young age, we’ll have two leaders in our program for the coming years.”

Former NBA star Charlie Villanueva, who played the final two seasons of his 11-year career with the Dallas Mavericks, also has Alopecia.

Villanueva
Charlie Villanueva played with the Dallas Mavericks from 2014-26. Rodger Mallison rmallison@star-telegram.com

“I saw a couple of videos of him talking about his condition and how it doesn’t change him or make him different,” said Walsh, who was voted to the 4A state all-tournament team. “It gave me self confidence in the beginning. It showed people that I resemble someone in the league and I hope to get where he’s been or even a little higher.”

“Jordan is Jordan to us,” Thomas added. “We don’t think too much about his condition. It motivates him and I’m proud of how he’s handled and approached it. It’s going to bring attention to him, but at this point, he’s a basketball player, a student athlete and a greater person.”

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Born and raised in Hawaii, Brian Gosset graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in journalism before coming to Texas in 2014. He’s covered high school sports — yes, pretty much every high school sport — for the Star-Telegram ever since.

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