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Lady Cougar gains strength from family

By By Matthew Nascone
After coming off the bench for a year, Jordan Jaye has learned how to play basketball at the varsity level. And the Escambia Academy freshman is the Lady Cougars leading scorer through eight games and has helped the team to a six-game win streak.
But for Jaye, the game would mean nothing if she did not have her family to support her. And quite a family it is.
"I love my family," she said. "I have a big family, but we are a close family and they mean a lot to me."
That big family includes her parents, Robby and Sanetta; her three brothers, Conner, 12, 13-year-old Chase and 7-year-old Jack and her 10-year-old sister, Maggie.
Not only does Jaye have an actual family, but she also has an extended family. She said the bond between the Lady Cougars is unbreakable.
"I really like that our team is real close and we are all really good friends," Jaye said.
So whether at home, or on the court, Jaye has a bunch of people who love and support her. But her father is the person she leans on the most.
"Before games my dad will always try and pump me up for the game," she said. "And during the game I will look up in the stands at my parents because I know they will always be there for me."
Like many other girls her age, Jaye has the dream to one day play in the professional ranks of her sport. But before the pros, there is college. And Jaye said one college has always been in the back of her mind.
"I have always wanted to play at North Carolina," Jaye said. "I have family there and I have followed North Carolina for a long time. But I just want to play in college and I will go anywhere."
When she is not on the court averaging 14.3 points per game, she is hanging out with her boyfriend of five weeks, Ethan Brooks, or other friends.
"I am with my boyfriend a bunch and I also spend a bunch of time with my good friend Anna-Lisa McGhee," Jaye said.
And EA Lady Cougars head coach Andy Gorum has noticed what Jaye has added to his squad.
"She is a very intelligent player and she is willing to learn," Gorum said. "She is only a ninth grader and she has shown a lot of ability. She works hard and she is very easy to work with. She is teachable and that is something any coach would love. She is an overall good player and I am glad to have her."