Walter Jordan is an Indiana High School Hall of Fame player (Northrop High School); where he led his team to a 29-1 record and the 1974 Indiana High School State Basketball Championship; where he also was named first-team Indiana All-State and All-Star (with legend Larry Bird) and Kentucky Derby All-American. In high school, Jordan was voted Sertoma Award Winner (state’s highest honor for student-athlete) and voted Best Male Citizen (by high school classmates). After high school he then attended Purdue University where he was a three-time All Big Ten Performer, two-time team MVP and two-time team Captain; In between his Junior and Senior season he reunited with Larry Bird and a strong cast of other college stars (Sidney Moncrief, Darryl Griffith, Freeman Williams, Calvin Natt, Phil Hubbard, James Bailey, Dave Corzine and others) to lead the USA World University team to the Gold Medal. He is still listed in among Purdue’s top six all-time leading scorers and rebounders. Jordan has also been blessed to have coached at all levels (high school, college and the CBA). He currently is a mentor, motivational speaker, success coach, trainer, business owner (telecom/energy industry), and formally coaches at North Cobb Christian High School (Kennesaw, GA / 3-time State Champs); was a recent mentor for National Basketball Association (NBA D-League Mentorship team). He has a strong history of being involved in every community in which he has lived; and for 17 years he directed his “Future Stars/ARC Summer Youth Program”. From 1980 to 1990 he founded and directed the “Parade of Stars”, an annual NBA sanctioned benefit all-star basketball game (Big Brothers & Big Sisters and Allen County Society for Crippled Children & Adults). Parade of Stars featured such stars as Isaiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Ron Harper, Scott Skiles, Scooter McCray, Wes Matthews, Chuck Person, Jerry Sichting, Shawn Kemp, Rodney McCray, Herb William, Coach Gene Keady and many others. Mr. Jordan has a strong passion for serving and helping people; with an even stronger passion and focus on developing (physically & spiritually) young men. He is most proud of the fact that he has helped well over seventy-five kids find their college homes! He is well respected throughout the globe for his works; as his commitment and works have not gone unnoticed…as he has received numerous local and regional awards.
Coach Jordan was kind enough to join the Clutch Club for a Q&A via email about life and basketball:
Q: How did you decide basketball was the right path for you and how did you end up at Purdue and eventually playing professionally?
A: Being one of seven boys (3 sisters) growing up in basketball crazy Indiana, it was simply what most everyone in our communities did. Of course we had also played all seasonal sports, with football being my favorite, until I grew 12” in two summers!
Being a 6’5” guard and being blessed to help my high school team to a 29-1 record (28 straight) and win the Indiana State Champion no doubt changed my life forever. Being able to go from one offer to being to select from well over 200 schools… After losing my mom the week of our first game that year…I wanted to stay close to home for my three little brothers and family! My final 4 choices were Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Marquette and Purdue
My mom would always tell my dad that I was going to be a pro…as I carried that vision and dream every day. Needless to say, it was very emotional day when I signed my first contract!
Q: Everyone faces adversity at one time or another during their life. What is an obstacle you have had to overcome and how did you do it?
A: There were many, of course the loss of my mom in high school, being cut in the sixth and seven grade, being crippled with a rare illness after my rookie season, breaking my foot two years in a row with the Cavs…
I did not have a clue at the time that each adversity was meant to help me grow, get stronger, make me better and was God’s way of letting me know that it was all about his plan…not mine!
Q: Being that this is the Clutch Club, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask this question. What is the most “clutch” moment you have been a part of on the court?
A: Love I love the name! Since high school I always prided myself on playing big in the biggest games. To choose a few…(high school) making two free throws to beat our arch rival in our first game senior year – hitting to free throws to win our Final 8 game – scoring 26 points in our final 4 game and 20 points in our championship game –(college) scoring 28 vs Michigan State & Magic Johnson – huge games against Indiana, AZ, Michigan, Ohio State, (pros) NBA scores 8 points in one quarter vs Lakers before I broke my foot in 4th – scored 49 points in Spain
Q: I noticed in your bio that while in college you helped lead the USA World University Team to a gold medal. What was it like to represent your country on the court and win the gold medal?
A: What A Honor!! Deeply humbled and honored to be able to be a part of such an amazing team representing the United States of America! The pride and responsibility we all felt of ensuring that we took care of business! There was 37 of us invited to the tryouts…and to be one of 12 chosen will always be one of my most special moments!
Q: To any of our readers are still trying to develop and fulfill their potential. What advice can you give them to accomplish this?
A: No matter what their goals, vision and dreams are they Must place God first! Be willing to work their butts off, find a mentor, be coachable, stay humble, block out all negative and dream stealers noise, dream big, believe…and go for it!
Q: You’ve had an illustrious career as a player, coach, and mentor. What are you most proud of as you look back at your many years around the game of basketball?
A: That is a easy one! I am proud of the treasured relationships, amazing opportunities and golden lessens that this great game has afforded me! Most proud of the fact, that I have been able to play it forward by teaching, mentoring and impacting thousands of young people’s life’s! Including helping well over 80 kids get in college! #ButGOD!
Q: Basketball, at the end of the day, is just one part of life. How do teach young men the importance of other things including faith and family, and, if you can narrow it down, what one lesson is the most important for players to take away?
A: SEE ABOVE! God First! I believe that everyone need to know that their first team (and most important) they will ever play on will be his/her family! Therefore, it is so important to teach kids to love themselves, know who they are (not what they do). to respect and know their last name (history), to respect others, lead and to believe in themselves!
Q: Who are some people that positively impacted you and helped you do all the things you have accomplished and continue to do?
A: I don’t think you have enough space for this one! So blessed to have had my mentors at me same address! My mom and dad, raised 10 positive God fearing kids with a 6 grade educations, with 7 of us attending college! My three older brothers who taught me the game, but about life and being a man! Of course, my many teachers and coaches along the way! Many are still my mentors today!
Q: What inspired you to become a coach, mentor, and a motivational speaker and how do you hope to impact the community around you?
A: The fact that I was blessed that some many reach out and invested in me, has always inspired and motivated me! I only pray that one day I will have that same effect as they had with me! There’s nothing better than that!
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: Our Team Impact Hoops program: www.TeamImpactHoopsga.net
Our Youth Leadership Conference: www.walterjordansyouthconference.com
Educating Parents – Kids Health & Wellness: waltjordan.idlifeoffice.com/kids
The Clutch Club would like to thank Coach Jordan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about his illustrious career. Stay tuned for more interviews and stories. We are just getting started! Be sure to follow Clutch Club on Facebook and Twitter for updates!