by Tom Pedulla –
If there is one reason to explain why senior guard Jordan Wade recently joined the 1,000-point club at Hackley, it might well be that she sings to herself whenever she makes one of her many trips to the foul line.
“My team always makes fun of me,” she said, “because they can hear me whispering songs.”
Her song of choice these days? Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and the Beat.”
The official hands her the ball at the foul line and she begins to whisper: “Cause all I need is a beauty and a beat/Who makes my life complete.”
Hey, there is no arguing with success.
According to Margaret Scarcella, her coach, Wade shoots well above 80 percent from the foul line. Many professional basketball standouts can only dream of attaining such a percentage. Free throws might be free of defensive pressure, but the feeling of isolation at the line and the pressure of the game has doomed many a shooter.
Wade said of her unusual routine, “It calms me down a lot.”
Wade, from Irvington, is in her fifth varsity season. She became the 10th girl in Hackley history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, breaking the barrier with a layup during a home game against Poly Prep.
“It meant everything,” she said. “I really wanted to leave my mark in some way.”
It added to her accomplishment that she was following in the footsteps of her coach. Scarcella was the first to reach 1,000 points and went far beyond that, finishing with 2,135 points by the time she graduated in 1984.
“To see the names of the girls who scored 1,000 points before me was inspiring, especially because my coach’s name is up there,” Wade said. “It means a lot to be up there with her. It’s really special.”
Although she is right-handed, Wade is comfortable depending on her left hand when she drives to the basket. She is adept at drawing fouls, leading either to a potential three-point play or, at worst, two foul shots that she typically drains.
“She gets banged around going to the basket, gets up every time and has the ability to put the ball in from the foul line, whether it’s the first minute or last minute,” Scarcella said.
Wade’s ability to deliver in the clutch is uncanny.
“She’s always been a go-to person. She’s definitely someone to rely on,” said senior point guard Ismene Germanakos. “If it’s tied up, she’s the one to take the last shot.”
Wade consistently reaches double figures in scoring, a consistency that contributed greatly to Hackley’s success this season.
“We go as Jordan goes,” Scarcella said. “She leads us.”
If a practice is not going well, Wade has been known to gather teammates around to not-so-gently remind them that they must pick up the pace. If a teammate forgets a play, she is there to outline it for her. She has even suggested potential drills to Scarcella, who welcomes such input.
“She’s always trying to get us pumped up, always trying to get us to work hard and put everything we have into it,” said Isabelle Thomas, a senior center. “She definitely helped the team be more cohesive and more fun. She helped us care more about each other and the sport, too.”
Wade realized another dream when she was accepted by the University of Michigan, the alma mater of her parents, Marcy and Mike. She enjoys drawing portraits and will study art at Michigan, content to know she made an indelible mark at Hackley.