Los Angeles Clippers center Jordan presses forward with faithcomment (0)
May 23, 2013
By Bill Sorrell
Although he is almost 7 feet tall, there is something that DeAndre Jordan doesn’t plan to outgrow: Cartoons.
“I watch a lot of cartoons,” said Jordan, the 6-foot-11-inch, 265-pound center for the Los Angeles Clippers.
He also has become one. After a March 10 “Dunk of the Year” over the Detroit Pistons’ Brandon Knight, Under Armour launched a “Show Me Your Dunk Face” T-shirt that had a cartoon drawing of Jordan dunking.
Tuning in to “toons” is one way that Jordan, 24, relaxes during a demanding NBA season.
Averaging 8.7 points a game and 7.1 rebounds per game (through mid-April), Jordan has set a Clippers franchise record with 151 consecutive starts at center, which is the longest active streak in the NBA. He ranks fourth in the NBA in dunks with 171.
This season, Jordan has helped lead the Clippers to their first Pacific Division title in the franchise’s 43-year history.
“We know what we are capable of, and we know where we get our talent from,” Jordan said. “I know I wouldn’t have a lot of great things, having this job that I love, without my Lord and Savior. I’m thankful for that every day.”
Born in Houston, Texas, Jordan was led to Christ by his grandmother Cora Anderson.
“I’ve always been on the right path,” Jordan said.
But it wasn’t until the later years of attending Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, that Jordan’s salvation experience “really hit” him.
As a senior at Christian Life, Jordan averaged 26.1 points, 15.2 rebounds and 8.1 blocks. He was a
PARADE All-American and was twice all-state.
Rivals.com rated him as the No. 8 overall prospect in the nation, second top prospect at center and the No. 1 prep player in Texas.
Jordan’s field goal percentage prowess was evident during his freshman year at Texas A&M. He shot a team-high .617 while averaging 20 points per game and was on the Big 12 All-Rookie Team. The Clippers drafted him 35th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft.
At his home in Los Angeles, he keeps a cross that his grandmother gave him that has the “Serenity Prayer” inscribed: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
“I pray a lot,” Jordan said. “My faith has grown tremendously. I try to stay positive knowing that I can’t control a lot of things. I just control things I can and let everything else happen.”
Jordan uses his upbeat personality to bring levity to the team.
“I’m happy all the time,” he said. “Even if we do lose, I try to find something positive out of it that can keep us going. I want to be the best person I can be on and off the court and just be devoted.”
He said that his faith is “not something that I go out preaching every day, but I know my relationship with Christ, and I know what He has done for me, and that is what I live on.”
For Grant Hill, a Clippers forward, the 2012–13 season has been “tough” because of injuries and “going through a lot of stuff.” He said that Jordan has made him feel comfortable and made him “feel involved.”
“For that I will be forever grateful,” Hill said. “He is a good guy. He has got a good sense of what is right and wrong.”
Clippers center Ronny Turiaf said Jordan “is a very genuine person that cares about his teammates. We are very fortunate to have him on our team. He is one of my best friends on the team.”
Clippers rookie guard Maalik Wayns and Jordan make a point to pray before every meal.
“We get on to each other about it,” Wayns said.
Jordan’s field goal percentage of .641 is the league’s best. During March, he had the best shooting month of any player in the NBA during the last 28 years when he shot 84.6 percent. He had an NBA season-high of 20 straight field goals in March. Jordan leads the Clippers in offensive rebounds with 201 and is 19th in the league in blocks with 104, a 1.32 per-game average.
“He is a young guy who has got a lot of potential,” Hill said. “He has worked extremely hard.”
While there have not been “huge, dramatic” turning points in his life, Jordan said his faith does encounter a full-court press.
“With the territory of my job, there are so many temptations, whether it’s partying [or] women,” he said. “I just try to keep my head on straight and stay focused.”