Hoop dreams02/13/2023 03:15PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Children growing up as part of the next generation are phenomenal. Many of the youth have an amazing work ethic and, most importantly, have parents that do whatever it takes to help them reach their dreams.
Jordyn Palmer decided at the young age of two that she wanted to be a professional basketball player. Her father, Jermaine Palmer, was coaching basketball at the time. And like many children of coaches, she went with him a lot.
“Jordyn was almost three when I started coaching a Chester County Storm AAU basketball team,” Jermaine Palmer said.
The AAU basketball group is focused on developing youth boys and girls from 4th-11th grade in Pennsylvania's Chester and Delaware counties, Maryland and Northern Delaware. They take pride in building player skills so they can better serve their school teams in the regular season, compete in AAU National Tournaments, and advance to the next level of competition. They also support many young people through various mentoring programs.
As Jermaine explained, “She traveled with me and watched the kids I coached. Eventually she joined the YMCA League in Jennersville, which further encouraged her interest in basketball. Then at the age of seven she joined the travel team.”
Having a child interested in sports is not cheap. Many parents coach while maintaining a job at Omega Flex, a manufacturer of corrugated flexible metal hose and braid products for the processing industries and other specialties applications.
Coaching and playing sports can quickly get expensive and requires the buy-in of the entire family. Weekends are spent traveling, and require money for hotels, meals, and paying a fee to the team, not to mention all of the equipment required to play a sport. Basketball shoes are not cheap.
It does make it easier when everyone likes basketball, which is true of the Palmer family. Jermaine explained that his mother played basketball. It does help when the grandparents have a love for the game as well.
At 14, Jordyn stands 6-feet-1-inch, so she certainly has the height for the sport. And schools and colleges have taken notice of her.
The young athlete got a full scholarship from Westtown School in West Chester. Last season, at the age of 13, she played five grades up at the varsity level. She has four more years at Westtown.
So basketball has already brought her to a great education.
Westtown’s mission statement is that the school believes it's never too early to start the process of questioning and discovery, so Westtown students explore the answers to these questions from pre-K to twelfth grade through academic programs that are themselves grounded in inquiry, exploration, and Quaker values. They foster a culture of reflection and self-discovery in which students can ignite the unique spark that illuminates their passion and purpose. Westtown is the difference between your child being changed by the world and being a force for change in the world.
So, now at the age of 14, Jordyn Palmer has four more years at Westtown. Her proud father admits it is hard to believe that she is already receiving scholarship offers from the likes of Penn State, the University of Miami, the University of Louisville, and Rutgers just to name a few.
“It is hard to believe they are offering scholarships to my 8th grade daughter,” he said.
In another four years Jordyn will be making that decision of where to go to college.
Jermaine explained, “Westtown has given her a great foundation in her education. She will be prepared to go on to college.”
This coming season Jordyn will be playing for Philly Rise, which is out of New Jersey. She will be playing in Virginia, Illinois, Texas and Florida. The planning has already started, and they are already putting up money for hotels.
Jermaine will be coaching varsity for the Chester County Storm, but he will also be following Jordyn and another daughter is starting basketball. He will be busy traveling with both children.
And what does Jordyn think of all of this?
“It has been an opportunity to grow and expand my horizons. Being a professional basketball player has been my dream for a long time. Basketball, family and school is what I focus on,” she said. “I see myself as a professional basketball player.”
Her dad realizes what this journey has already done for her.
“It teaches her to work with a team. It teaches her integrity and how to work on her craft to be the best. It has taught her a tremendous work ethic,” he said.
Jermaine is excited for his daughter’s future, and he has another daughter and son who will follow in her footsteps.
“It has been a great opportunity for her,” he said. “She started at a young age. She is a good kid and we are blessed. Westtown has been a great prep school. When she goes to college she will know what to expect. She has always been a hard worker.”
As for Jordyn, she said, “I’m grateful for everything. I don’t know what my life would be like without basketball.”