As the league comes to an end, several players stick out in your mind. One of them is Illinois Xpress’s Jordan Kirk. Illinois Xpress has been apart of the Baylor Basketball League for over five years. They are the reigning champs year after year for the boy’s high school division.
Aurora Clay is the founder of the Illinois Xpress program (And has a sister running an Xpress program in Georgia) and prides herself on helping theses young men stay off the street. She has managed to do it by putting a basketball in their hands.
Majority of her team is comprised of football players who love to play basketball. But what is extraordinary about her program is that she takes the kids that are less skilled, less fortunate and players that have physical/mental disabilities. And these kids can play! I have watched her program continue to grow year after year. She does not turn anyone away. She makes it WORK!! I always recognize and give thanks to God for mentors like Aurora in our communities that are truly helping these young men and young women overcome adversity.
This story leads to Jordan Kirk who has so many similarities to Dwayne Wade. Both grew up in the Oak Lawn area. Jordan attends Harold L. Richards. The same school Dwayne Wade and his program director Aurora attended. Jordan Kirk and Dwayne Wade also played football and basketball for their High School. Jordan is a strong shooting guard who is a high scorer just like Dwayne Wade. Jordan caught my eye on paper. He scored 27 points in one game and 25 in the next. I went to watch him and had to ask Aurora why he was not playing for his high school team? She told me he had a disagreement that lead to an immature act of him quitting the team.
Since then, he has matured and humbled himself and plans on playing college basketball. Most people would think the odds would be against him but they are NOT. Aurora has managed to place ALL, I repeat; I said “ALL” of her unsigned seniors into college where they have received athletic scholarships. So, it will not be any difference for Jordan. I believe in second chances and Jordan Kirk definitely does too. He is a 5’10, unsigned senior who can handle the ball and shoot lights out! He can take you off the dribble or pull up with the midrange shot. He can do it all.
Aurora will be bringing the boys to the unsigned senior event on March 28-29 where the college coaches will definitely not be disappointed. We wish Jordan and his team good luck this Sunday as they plan on defending their title.