Jordan Twyman

Dawn Cauthen-Thornton | April 26th, 2018
Jordan Twyman (Photos by Eric Brim)

Jordan Twyman (Photos by Eric Brim)

Jordan Twyman didn’t originally play basketball. At his size, his father felt he was best suited to carry a pigskin, so he started out on the football field. But as a preteen, Jordan’s interests began to change he convinced his dad, the court is where he wanted to be.

“I started playing AAU when I was 12 and then I made my first 8th grade all-star game after that. So, I stayed in the gym, working out non-stop to get stronger and better,” Jordan explains. The 6’1 high school senior plays point guard for Quality Education Academy in Winston Salem, NC.

“It’s been easy and hard at the same time. Over the last few years, I’ve moved from school to school for different reasons, so I’ve had to get used to a lot of different coaches,” says Jordan. Where one school had an amazing coach, the competition was lacking, so he transferred. At another school, the coach wasn’t as personable, but he had a good reputation for developing his players and many have gone on to play at the college level. The same coach was also phenomenal at calling plays, so Jordan noticed his skills on the court also increased.

Jordan freely admits that he can be impatient at times, like most teens. But he also feels that the struggles he has encountered have taught him patience, discipline, and mental strength. “I always wanted things to come when I wanted them to, instead of waiting to see what God had prepared for me,” Jordan confesses. At 19, he’s mature in his faith and knows that he can go far if he just trusts God’s plan.

When he thinks about the pressure of being a student athlete, Jordan prides himself on balancing both with success. Considering his current GPA is 3.8 and he’s a star player, that should tell you his level of focus. His father, Dontay Mitchell, has made sure his son knows that without above average grades, he doesn’t step foot inside of a gym, so to ensure he doesn’t miss any playing time, Jordan divides his days equally between books and ball.

In the fall, Jordan plans to attend University of Virginia’s College at Wise. He had looks from other colleges including Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte, NC, but settled on UVA-Wise after an impactful visit there. “This whole recruiting process has been crazy. But I selected UVA-Wise because I really like the coach and the campus.” Another deciding factor was Jordan’s cousin Michal Seals who also attends the school and plays basketball. He sees what the program has done for his role model cousin and plans to accomplish the same goals– become an All-Conference player as a freshman, and an All-American by his junior year. “My cousin has been a great mentor, not just with the college decision, but even all throughout high school,” Jordan explains.

After graduation, his summer will still involve basketball, but the son of two entrepreneurs has his sights set on obtaining his real estate license and following in his father’s footsteps. Dontay is the proud owner of a string of houses that he rents, as well as a daycare facility that he co-owns with his mother. He also has a full-time career in the banking industry as an HR professional. “I try to teach Jordan that he should always have multiple streams of income and not just rely on one thing. And it feels good that he wants to do what I do,” Dontay boasts. Jordan’s mother is a business owner in Atlanta, GA, where he was raised prior to relocating to Greensboro. In Atlanta, Jordan lived with his mom and visited his father during the summer months. As he got older, he desired to live with his father full-time, but knew his mother would object. “I just kept begging her to let me live with my dad and eventually she did. It was hard for her at first, because she didn’t think we’d be on top of things. But I think we’ve shown her that we could do it and now she’s really proud of me.”

The move was also a change for his father. “Before Jordan came, I lived in a small apartment. So it was time for me to get a house big enough for me, him, and my other son Christian, who also came to live with me,” explains Dontay. In a matter days, the single father of two ditched eating out regularly and gained an appreciation for cooking at home, with his boys, along with many other adjustments. Dontay recognizes that he isn’t just raising his sons, his sons are also helping him grow into a better man. “Whatever I tell them to do, I have to be the example. So they’ve helped me as much as I’ve helped them.” The father of two also adds that both sons have great mothers who have been phenomenal along the way.

With his new full-time father status, Dontay relied (and still does) on God’s guidance and the support of his family to help him raise his sons with vision, purpose, and discipline. His tactics have obviously paid off, because Christian is currently finishing up a degree in Radiology and Jordan plans to major in Business Administration or Physical Therapy at UVA – Wise. In October 2017, Jordan’s own faith was tested when he learned that his cousin and best friend was suddenly killed in a car accident on his way home from a basketball tournament. “When Dez (Dezmond Woods of Southwest Guilford High School) died, it was really tough. It took a while to get over that. But I just had to accept that he’s with the creator and be there for our younger cousins because it was also hard on them.” Jordan credits his parents for helping develop his strong faith and remembers growing up in a ‘holy environment’. He currently attends Evangel Fellowship Church of God in Greensboro.

Even through the difficulties and dealing with adverse attitudes, egos, and setbacks, the athlete’s eye is set firmly on the prize. He has carved out a plan for the next several years that involve business ownership and possibly some time playing professional basketball internationally. Right now, he feels he’s too young to decide on which path he’ll travel, but there is no doubt that he will be fully prepared to make an educated decision when that time comes.

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