Shooting for the stars

News - Jul 09, 2021

During Year 11, Grace student Jonah Gordon decided to utilise his basketball skills to pursue a dream of finishing his high school education in the US, with the aim of hopefully achieving a scholarship to a University or College. We look back on Jonah's great achievement, and on his transition to St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy.

Term 3 of 2020 saw the departure of one of Grace's Basketball superstars, Year 11 student Jonah Gordon. Jonah's new destination was St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy in Wisconsin, where, according to Jonah’s dad Eric, he immediately settled in and became a big influence on the team.

[As soon as he arrived] the staff said he is a real role model and they are so very happy to have him as a part of St. John’s Northwestern Leadership Academy.

Former Caboolture Sport Coordinator, Mr Cameron West-McInnes explained that St. Johns have been so impressed with Jonah, that the St. Johns School President and Sports Director have asked Jonah’s dad Eric to keep an eye out for 10 students, male or female, just like him. 

Speaking to his dad, he is loving the incredible basketball program which has an indoor court, shooting machine, seating for 800, weights room, pool, his own locker with his name and his hometown across it, medical staff and much more. 

 Even with these new opportunities however, Eric noted that Jonah has kept ties to his Grace days.

 [Jonah] will have the Australian flag flying at some stage on the Campus and in his first year he will be introduced to the home crowd as - From Grace College, Caboolture, Australia, standing at 6 foot 5, Jonah Gordon!

Since joining the academy, Jonah has continued to develop his Basketball skills but has also begun to branch out into new sports and activities.

He’s also taken up American Football and that the coach is totally blown away with his athleticism and attitude.

Every time he leaps and takes a ball at full speed, his teammates yell out Aussie Aussie Aussie! He has had two practice sessions as a Wide Receiver and looks like he may make the school team.

Jonah’s achievements are the result of goal setting and self-discipline but is also a testament to the coaches (both in and out of the College) and staff who have helped along the way. Coach Shayne Grieve oversaw the inception of the Basket Excellence Program at the Caboolture Campus, with Jonah being one of the founding members.

The program continues up to today, with Jonah being an outstanding example of what students can achieve through hard work and dedication.

We’re extremely proud of Jonah and are looking forward to his development over in the States. He’s worked hard on both his basketball and his academics and I have no doubt we’re going to see great things from him in the next few years.

When asked how such a young program, that only took form in 2018, is already bearing such excellent fruit, Mr Grieve had this to say:

The ironic thing is that the Basketball Excellence program was actually born on the courts at Grace Caboolture, when three Middle School boys, Jonah being one of them, Brandon Crannis and Diing Deng being the others, started scrimmaging every lunch hour. Many layups, jump shots and failed dunk attempts later, their passion for the game caught our eye. Mr. Cameron West-McInnes and I decided to provide these students with formalised training sessions and entry into a new Junior Basketball competition, the Sweet 16. Suddenly, we discovered that we had something special.

By 2019, the Caboolture team entered in, and won, the Brisbane Outer School Basketball Tournament for division 2, as well as qualifying for the first time as a campus for the Champion Basketball School of Queensland tournament, which has been pitting the best school basketball programs in the state against each other since 1974. The team left the tournament with 5-2 record and turned many heads with just how talented they were.

Follow our Grace Lutheran College Facebook Page for updates on Jonah, and our Basketball Excellence teams. If you have any questions about the sporting programs at the Caboolture campus, please get in touch with our Sports Department via our Grace Lutheran College website

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