The junior guard is showing out in his first season with his new team.
After an exciting first season at area basketball powerhouse Atlantic High School, Jordan Sears was hoping to break out in his sophomore season. Although he almost exclusively came off the bench as a freshman, Sears won the starting point guard spot for the 2017-18 season.
The season started off hot, with Atlantic dropping only two games. Then they faced Mainland, an up-and-coming team with something to prove, Jan. 19.
The Buccaneers scored a last-second layup to upset the Sharks 58-56.
That pivotal loss was the catalyst to a rough ending for the Sharks’ year, where they lost five of their last seven games.
“As a competitor, that hurt,” Sears said. “I don’t like losing.”
After basketball season ended, Sears thought about transferring to another school. He had played for Atlantic’s David Howard Sr. from third-grade AAU ball to high school, and he felt ready for a change. He just didn’t know which school he’d like to play for next.
In March 2018, he visited Mainland with his mother, Erica Jones, and they bumped into Buccaneers head coach Joe Giddens while he was making his rounds around the Mainland High School campus.
Jones had attended high school with Giddens at Mainland in the early 1990s.
“My mom loved coach Joe,” Sears said. “She was really comfortable with him.”
Sears made the switch.
But despite his success at Atlantic, Sears still had to earn his place among the Buccaneers.
He did, and he’s been essential as a multifaceted player. He plays tough defense, he’s a floor general, he can get hot from the 3-point line, and he drive into the paint.
He’s scrappy. His grittiness separates him from other players.
“I’ve always been one of the smallest players on the court my whole life,” said Sears, who stands at 5-foot-8. “I don’t let it faze me. I always have to do the little things that other people won’t. I play with a lot of heart and passion —win or lose.”
The transfer has worked well for Sears. About Giddens, Sears said: “The intensity he brings is different. He brings more out of me. There’s more tough love here, and I feel like it’s helped me out a lot.”
He’s fit right in on a Buccaneers squad that returned key players from last year, including seniors Rodney Rhoden and Johnny Brown. Sears played 50 games over the summer months to develop chemistry with his new teammates. And on Dec. 14, he scored a season-high 37 points against his old team in a triple overtime win for the Buccaneers.
He’s been integral in what is already a 19-win season.
“He understands exactly what we’re trying to do,” said Giddens, whose team is aiming to break into the Final Four and to, ultimately, win a state championship. “Our goal is his goal.”