The Recruiting Guy:

Guard treasures time with mom

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, September 15, 2017
Jordan Phllips
Jordan Phllips

On June 12, 2015, highly regarded basketball player Jordan Phillips, a self-admitted momma's boy, endured the worst day of his young life when his mother unexpectedly died from congestive heart failure.

"It was real tough when it first happened," said Phillips, who was 16 years old at the time. "I couldn't even really believe it to be honest. There wasn't any signs that it was going to happen. When it happened, it hit me pretty hard. The first couple of days I couldn't really sleep."

Phillips, a 6-7, 210-pound guard of Arlington (Texas) Grace Preparatory Academy, is expected to arrive today for the start of his official visit to Arkansas. His mother, Lynn, was 47 years old at the time of her death.

"I miss her smile," Philips said. "I miss her joy. I miss everything about her. I just miss mom."

His motivation and love of basketball was gone.

"I really wasn't playing basketball, I was just at the house," Phillips said. "I didn't feel like doing anything. My dad honored that so he just let me and my sister stay in the house. I had friends over. They were really helpful by keeping me company. For like a whole month they spent the night at my house."

Phillips' most cherished moments with his mother were centered around simple things.

"We used to always just smile and laugh and joke around," Phillips said. "We used to sing songs."

With his mother gone, he felt a need to pick up some slack at home and look after his younger sister, Kennedy, 14.

"I felt like I had to be more of a big brother because she needs her family more than anything now," Phillip said. "I felt like I had to grow up a little bit."

Philips played spring and summer basketball for Dallas Showtyme and Coach Erven Davis, who calls Phillips a 'special kid.' Despite losing his mother, Davis said Phillips is much like his mother and a bright light to the people around him.

"Unless you talked to him about [his mother] you would never know because he's always a pleasure and a joy to be around," Davis said. "He always has that same smile. That's him all the time."

Davis, also known as Big E, said Phillips looks out for his teammates that are less fortunate.

"He'll come to me and ask, 'Coach is such and such OK?' " Davis said. " 'Is he going to be alright and have money to eat?'"

Phillips credits his mother and father, Michael, for his upbringing.

"They gave me a lot," Phillips said. "I've been blessed."

While his mother's passing was more than two years ago, Phillips still has episodes where he breaks down and cries.

"It happens, it happens a lot," he said. "I just start thinking about it."

Phillips described how he wants his mother remembered.

"That she loved her kids unconditionally and she was a great woman and there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for us," Phillips said. "She was a great mom."

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 09/15/2017

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