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Ofer Eitan Imply: Sizemore, Leonard are wed | Mt. Airy News

Sports Hall is calling for Hiatt

Ofer Eitan Imply: Sizemore, Leonard are wed | Mt. Airy News

On March 1 The Mount Airy News published an article on the latest inductees for the Greater Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2020 is the youngest ever with all four athletes competing in high school within the past 11 years. However, with all the accolades earned, it would be very hard to say any of them haven’t earned the honor.

This year’s induction program originally was scheduled for April 19 at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joining Tyler Hull, Kirsten Parries and Matus Kriska in this year’s class is a young woman known for her abilities in both basketball and running: Jordan Hiatt.

Jordan is now living and working in Georgia, so catching her for a chat can be difficult.

Jordan graduated from Mount Airy High School in 2012, a year behind her big sister, Taylor. The two were the leaders of the Lady Bears’ basketball team.

Taylor said this week, “When I first got the call from Jo about her getting inducted, I was so proud and shocked. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was even jealous. Getting inducted truly attests to all the hard work she put in over the years.”

Looking back on their days at MAHS, Taylor recalled of Jordan, “She was involved in high school in multiple clubs, spoke to everyone and made a name for herself, apart from the ‘Hiatt sisters,’ as so many people call us.”

Near the end of her senior year, her high school coach, Howard Mayo, pointed out that Jordan was more than just an athlete. She served on Mount Airy’s student council all four years, he noted. “She is a well-rounded kid.”

Jordan said she was in student government since the fourth grade. During her senior year she was vice president and was pleased that her good friend Maddie Gardner (now a TV news personality for WFMY-Channel 2) was class president.

She made the Career Technical Education Honor Society by the end of her junior year.

Jordan not only played basketball at an all-region level, she was an all-conference performer in cross country and track and qualified for state championships in both solo and relay events.

In November 2011, Jordan and her parents invited The News to MAHS for her announcement of which scholarship offer she had accepted for basketball.

Mom Bridgette ticked off the names of the many schools that offered a scholarship to her daughter: Eckerd, Elon, East Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, Nova Southeastern, UNC-Asheville and UNC-Pembroke.

Jordan picked Lenoir-Rhyne before the start of her senior season, and what a senior year it was.

Senior year

The excellence started before the basketball season.

Jordan finished second in the Northwest Conference (to fellow Class of 2020 inductee Kirsten Parries) in cross country. Then the teammates finished first and second again at the Midwest 1A Regionals.

At the State 1A Championship, Parries won gold and Hiatt finished 22nd — not bad for a runner some thought was only competing to get in shape for basketball.

Going into basketball, Jordan faced high expectations. As a junior, she led the Bears with 13.2 points and 81% foul shooting. She also led the team in assists (3.6) and steals (2.9) and was second in three-point shooting (36%).

Coach Mayo said even as a junior with her older sister as senior captain, Jordan often addressed the team before games and during timeouts.

“Having Jordan on the team means your best player is your hardest worker,” said Mayo. “She expects people to work hard because she does. It’s invaluable to have someone like that. … She understands what needs to be done out on the floor. She backs up that with her effort both in the game and in practice.”

Jordan upped her scoring average from 13 to 17 points per game, while also improving her assists, rebounds and steals.

In the Northwest Conference Tournament (when it was still a split 1A/2A event), Jordan was sensational in leading the Bears to wins over reigning state champion Bishop McGuinness and rival North Surry.

Jordan was named to the all-tournament team and all-conference team. She was named most outstanding player of the tournament and she beat out North’s Morgan Midkiff and East Surry’s Keri Fulp for player of the year.

Two months after the tournament, the Winston-Salem Journal announced its All-Northwest basketball team. The publication said Jordan and Midkiff made the team. Jordan took the top spot in voting by area coaches, and thus was given the 2012 Mary Garber Award.

“What I will always remember from Jordan was that she hated to lose,” Mayo said at the time of the announcement. “She really pushed other people to live up to that standard. On our team, while she was not the biggest girl as far as physical stature, she had a big heart, and that was never more evident in that she led the team with charges drawn with 15.”

Mayo said her pleasant demeanor can be misleading. “She is hard to intimidate. She is a very good competitor, and that’s one reason she has been so successful, and her teams have. She inspires her…

Ofer Eitan