Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 22, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


High school star adjusts to college basketball

Women’s basketball freshman guard Jordan Beers wasn’t a typical high school basketball player. Not only did the Franklin High School graduate earn an almost unheard-of six varsity letters in basketball alone, but she accomplished another amazing feat in her years of playing basketball for the Class D school in Franklin, New York, by tallying 2,442 career points in her high school career. In comparison, she was just 400 points shy of NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s 2,883 high school points.

Her list of accomplishments doesn’t stop there, however. Beers was a five-time team MVP, five-time Tri-Valley League All-Star, four-time All-State selection, led her team to two Section IV championships and was named the NYSSWA Class D Player of the Year her senior year.

Beers hit the 2,000-career point mark Dec. 19, 2013, which moved her into fourth all-time on Section IV’s career-point list. Sophomore guard Ali Ricchiuti said she was extremely impressed by Beers’ point total when she heard about it last year.

“That’s a great accomplishment,” Ricchiuti said. “I was totally surprised when coach told us last semester, but I think it shows how great of a player she is.”

When it came time for Beers to begin looking at colleges, she said she knew Ithaca College was a perfect match for her, despite being recruited by other schools.

“Other schools tried to reach out to me, but I was never really interested,” Beers said. “I was really interested here, and when I came for a visit, I loved it. The physical therapy program here was the main reason, and I really liked the basketball program, along with the coach.”

After submitting an early-decision application, Beers followed the 2013–14 women’s basketball team in its NCAA tournament run to the Elite 8, watching All-American guard Mary Kate Tierney ’14 and knowing she would have big shoes to fill when Tierney graduated in the spring.

But Beers said she did not feel any pressure to fill the void left by Tierney and the rest of last year’s large graduating class.

“I knew that they had a good solid team,” Beers said. “I knew I wouldn’t feel any pressure when trying to replace anyone.”

So far, early in Beers’ collegiate career, she has already made an impact with the Bombers. She is currently fourth on the team in points per game with 7.0, while being one of the first players off the bench. Although her scoring ability is tremendous, head coach Dan Raymond said he loves the other aspects of her game and her overall potential.

“The sky’s the limit, really, with her,” Raymond said. “Maybe sometimes she doesn’t score, but the passes she can make — we haven’t had anybody that can make those type of passes. She’s a fantastic all-around player.”

Raymond said Beers has had to make some changes as she transitions her style of play from high school to the next level.

“It’s an adjustment for her,” Raymond said. “In her high school career she had to create all of her scoring opportunities. Here, she doesn’t have to create her scoring opportunities, and I think that’s the thing that’s taking her some time. She has so many people around her that can help her get open for her own shots. There’s just an adjustment period.”

Beers said her goal for the rest of this season is to continue to get better every day and to make the right plays for the team when it needs them. The Blue and Gold are currently in first place in the Empire 8 standings and are eyeing a fourth-straight conference championship and automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.

Ricchiuti said Beers has made a huge contribution to the team despite her youth.

“Even as just a freshman, she brings a lot of different attributes to the team,” Ricchiuti said. “Her aggressiveness and heart rubs off on everyone, and it’s going to be really exciting to see how much she grows as a player throughout these next few years.”