Shot hasn’t come easy for Wong 

It all started on a modified Fisher-Price hoop.

The elbow extension. The high arc. The flick of the wrist and follow-through of the fingers. And ultimately, the sound of the swish as the ball hit net.

According to Lowell boys’ basketball coach Robert Ray, senior guard Jordan Wong is one of the best pure shooters at the school "in a long, long time." But the stroke that produces perhaps the prettiest jumper in the Academic Athletic Association has been a work in progress since Wong first picked up a ball as a 4-year-old.

"Back then, I was too small to reach the basket, so my dad attached a Fisher-Price rim to a board and I learned on that," said Wong, who averaged 17.3 points per game this season and hit 31 3-pointers in 13 league games. "Then I moved up to the basket on the driveway of my old house and then over to the courts at Aptos Middle School shooting with my uncle."

Now, Wong is a key member of a Cardinals team looking for a second straight San Francisco Section title today at Kezar Pavilion. After the defending champion Lowell girls face Washington at 5 p.m., the boys play Mission (14-11) at 7. Wong and fellow seniors Arthur Jones and Pat Schock have never lost a section crown while at Lowell, as they won the frosh-soph championship their first two years and beat International Studies Academy in last year’s varsity final.

"We take some pride in that and we’re trying to go for that fourth championship," Wong said. "Plus, we’re close with the girls and we want to go back-to-back with them again."

Of course, the Cardinals (27-4) likely would not still be playing without Wong’s late-game shooting heroics in Wednesday’s semifinal against Wallenberg. With his team trailing by a point late, Wong took an inbounds pass from first cousin Travis Hom and calmly buried a 3-pointer from the left wing with 10.3 seconds remaining, the winning basket in a 41-39 victory.

"Travis is actually the one that called that play in the huddle and he wanted Jordan to score," Ray said."Playing basketball without confidence doesn’t work and they have a ton of confidence in each other."

Hom has seen first-hand how much Wong has improved over the years. The junior was there for Wong’s earliest shooting sessions and has played with him on both Asian League and school teams.

"To me, Jordan’s one of if not the best shooter in the league," Hom said. "He worked so hard on his offense and defense this summer and he’s always been able to score. Last season, we had so many guys on the team and we spread it around, but he knew this year would be his time."

In fact, the depth of last season’s Lowell team served as some motivation for Wong coming into the season. Wong was the only Cardinals starter not to be named either first or second team all-league a year ago.

"That was a little bit of a motivator," Wong said. "It would be nice to be noticed this year, but it will be tough with so many great players in the league ... we’ll see what happens."


At Kezar Pavilion


» Lowell (27-4) vs. Mission (14-11), 7 p.m.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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