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“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said on Monday night. “When I was in fifth grade I remember asking my parents if we could go to Flyin’ to the Hoop to watch Huntington Prep and Findlay Prep and IMG (Academy). Now, I’ll be on that stage.”
A starter since his freshman season, Gordon, a 6-foot-1 guard, was honorable mention All-Ohio in basketball this past season and first team All-Southwest District and All-Area.
He was third in Greater Western Ohio Conference scoring (23.8) and tallied a career-high 49 points at Greenville and 40 against Stebbins. He also averaged 5.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
GWOC American Conference North coaches voted Gordon the divisional player of the year. Sidney (18-7) tied for the GWOC American North title with Butler, both at 12-3.
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Gordon is believed to be the first area basketball player to land at Huntington Prep, which has emerged as a top prep basketball program in the country and counts No. 1 NBA draft pick Andrew Wiggins (Timberwolves) among its alums.
Huntington also is a frequent Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop participant. Another national giant, Findlay Prep (Nev.), defeated Huntington 50-48 at Flyin’ last January.
Gordon has not verbally committed.
“My recruiting, after coaches hearing I’m going to Huntington, actually picked up,” he said. “I got calls and texts left and right.”
Gordon said he had intended to return to Sidney for his senior year, but that changed when Huntington contacted and invited him for a campus visit. He will attend St. Joseph Central Catholic High School at Huntington and play for Huntington Prep.
“I wasn’t really thinking about leaving,” he said. “Their coach texted me and wanted me to come for a visit. I felt like that was a special thing. Everything was great. I felt I could go there and improve my game and it would open up my recruitment.”
He huddled with Sidney basketball coach John Willoughby and football coach Adam Doenges on Monday.
“(Willoughby) was really understanding and supportive,” Gordon said. “My football coaches are fully supportive of it, too.”
Gordon isn’t the first high-profile area basketball player to transfer to a national prep power. Justin Bibbs left Chaminade Julienne after a breakout sophomore season and transferred to Montverde Academy (Fla.). He was the Hokies’ second-leading scorer (13.3) as a senior this past season and amassed 1,457 career points.
Ivan Harris also left Springfield South after his junior season to play as a senior at Oak Hill Academy (Va.). He played four seasons at Ohio State and was a senior in the 2006-07 season when the Buckeyes lost to Florida in the national championship.
Former Dunbar teammates Caleb McConnell and DeVon Baker transferred to Spire Institute at Geneva, Ohio, as seniors this past season. McConnell verbally committed to Rutgers this past weekend and Baker decommitted from Siena.
There have been many other area standouts who have transferred to other high school programs throughout the area.
Gordon also was a standout quarterback at Sidney. With Gordon at quarterback, Isaiah Bowser at running back and Devan Rogers anchoring the defensive line, Sidney (10-2) qualified for the postseason for just the second time and defeated Belmont in a Division II, Region 8 playoff opener.
A dual-threat QB, Gordon accounted for 2,228 total yards of offense and 31 touchdowns. He passed for 1,546 yards and 18 touchdowns, and ran for 682 yards and another 13 TDs. Illinois State, Kent State and Akron were among the schools to have offered him a football scholarship.
Bowser graduated early and is enrolled at Northwestern, where he’ll likely play as a freshman this fall. Rogers started at center in basketball and has signed with Toledo to play football.