TAKING OWNERSHIP: Jordan-Foster, Hitchcock ready to repeat
HITCHCOCK RETURNS TO THE COURT THIS WINTER HAVING MADE SCHOOL HISTORY A YEAR AGO, EARNING THE FIRST UIL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP (CLASS 3A) IN PROGRAM HISTORY.
This precedent was established on the heels of reaching the title game in 2021, and the Bulldogs are looking to make it three-for-three.
Tenth-year coach Christopher Jordan-Foster will bank on his team’s physicality, particularly on defense, to make that goal a reality.
“Having some really fast and physical guys on the floor helps us out a lot,” he said. “I know we’re not going to be as polished offensively compared to some teams that do it year-round, before getting our football guys back late. However, like I tell them all the time, ‘defense travels with us’.”
The stars of 2023-24 Hitchcock BasketballBradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Being a Hitchcock alumnus himself, Jordan-Foster knows a little something about the ownership his team takes in their game.
“I’m a hometown kid,” he said. “There’s something different about bringing something back to your home, which makes you have a little bit more pride in your work. I stress that to the guys, as well. It’s more personal and I want them to feel that – looking back to when you made history for your community.”
That upbringing is likely what feeds into the culture he’s brought back to Hitchcock.
“Those guys growing up together, playing alongside one another for a while has played a key factor in the growth of the culture,” said Jordan-Foster. “Also, changing systems from a zone-press to more of a full-court man was a game-changer for us. That’s kind of our M.O. – we’re going full-court every time.”
The Bulldogs will feature several returners from last year’s championship squad, including Damien McDaniel (Sr. G), Lloyd “Chubby”Jones III (Jr. PF), Kelshaun Johnson (Jr. G) and Elijah Sherwood (Jr. G), who Jordan-Foster expects to take a big step forward this season.
So, what will it take for Jordan-Foster and Hitchcock to run it back in 2024?
“First of all, it’s going to take some focus,” he said. “With a lot of football guys coming onto the court, health is a key component to this as well. I’ve had these guys for a while now, so they know what I expect from them when we head into the Winter. But, staying healthy will definitely be important to us.”
The stage is set. Now, it’s time for the encore.