Athlete of the Week: Fields finds right fit at St. James

sjhoops-24aowIt’s never easy to transfer to a new high school in your junior year, but this transition couldn’t have been easier for Jordan Fields, or better for the St. James High basketball team.

Fields transferred from nearby Calvary Christian and has fit right in with his new teammates, many of whom he grew up playing with, and against, on the basketball court. And in his short time with the Sharks, he has played a key role in helping them to a strong season.

“Honestly, it was tough at first going to a new school, but once basketball started and I found something to do, it’s been great,” said Fields, who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week after receiving a record 51,000-plus votes.

“I played with three of the guys on the team in AAU ball so I already had a few friends on the team. And since summer workouts through the season we’ve really grown into a family. Our coach (Monty Carr) really stresses not only getting better as individuals but also coming together as a team.”

St. James (15-4 overall, 6-2 region) has been through some roller-coaster moments, beginning with a season-opening loss to Conway. The Sharks rattled off eight straight wins, including a tournament title at the Seymour (TN) Christmas Classic.

The Sharks capped the winning streak with a payback win over Conway before being humbled the next night against SCISA power Christian Academy. The highs and lows have helped St. James come together in time to make a run for the Region 7-3A title.

“The loss to Conway was a big turning point because we realized we had to play a lot better as a team,” Fields said. “Beating them was a huge win for us, but it all fell apart and we lost to Christian Academy. That was pretty humbling and taught us not to be too cocky.”

The early lessons are paying off in region play as St. James hosts first-place Wilson on Tuesday with a chance to share the top spot in the standings. The Sharks suffered an embarrassing 72-43 defeat at Wilson, so St. James has something to prove, both to the region, and itself.

Fields is sure to play a key role for the Sharks as the season progresses. The loss of senior guard Jacob Ziegler to a season-ending injury has led to an increase in playing time for Fields, who sometimes wears Ziegler’s No. 10 as a tribute to his teammate.

“I believe it with all my heart,” Fields said when asked if St. James can be a contender in the playoffs. “This team has really come together. We believe in each other and we believe we can compete with anybody as long as we are playing our best.”

Photo by Rancier Photography

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