Gann among 2nd generation of Lady Indians building hoops dynasty
Jordan Gann, with ball, is among the new generation of Lady Indians carrying on a basketball legacy begun at Sequoyah High School two decades ago. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Thirty years ago, the idea of the Sequoyah Lady Indians reaching the state basketball tournament was lofty indeed. But now, it is consistently a realistic goal. In fact, the success of Lady Indians basketball now spans generations.
Among the Sequoyah High School players hopeful for a state tournament berth in 2020 was junior Jordan Gann, starting power forward. Also hopeful was her mother, Jamie Teehee.
Both know the taste of ultimate success on the high school hardwood. Gann was a freshman on the Lady Indians’ 2018 3A state championship team, and Teehee was a member of the 1999-2000 SHS team that reached the state tournament, the first for Sequoyah in girls basketball.
And they aren’t alone. Current SHS senior Daryl Hooper is also a member of the 2020 state qualifiers, exactly 20 years after her mother, Delores Hooper, played in the state tournament for Sequoyah.
However, there was no opportunity for the 2019-20 Lady Indians to compete for the 3A championship. The tournament was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The necessity to cancel public events is understood by players, but it does little to blunt the disappointment.
“Our overall goal was to bring home the ‘gold ball.’” Gann said. “We had some unfinished business to settle after our devastating loss last year at state. As a team, we had come a long way since the summer. We pushed and motivated each other every day at practice, and we all bring out the best in each other. We are more than just teammates, we are sisters. These ladies are silly, amazing, funny and always have each others’ backs.”
In the 20 years since Gann’s parents played for Sequoyah, both programs have enjoyed success unseen in school history. Since first reaching the state tournament in 2000, the Lady Indians have totaled 16 state tournament appearances – after never before winning even a regional title. The program now has six state championships. The Lady Indians were 26-1 and favored to win the state 3A title this spring.
Rodney Gann, father of Jordan, was on the first SHS team to reach the state tournament in 1998, followed since by 16 more appearances and a title in 2003.
Teehee went to Bacone College in Muskogee on basketball and softball scholarships. She was deployed to Kuwait with Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011-12 and was an Army medic for eight years. She also has 13 years as a civilian nurse.
Jordan said she is thrilled to continue what her mother, aunt Kelly Teehee-Elizondo, and the other turn-of-the-century Lady Indians set in motion, calling them “strong Native role models.”
“They never were able to play in the new gym,” Jordan said. “I always hear they used to pack the old gym standing room only and even had to put a monitor in another room so people could watch. When I get out on that court, I think how blessed I am to walk in the footprints of my mom. She will always be my rock. She always pushes me and never lets me settle for anything less. My mom always tells me to never play frustrated, always have a positive attitude, leave everything on the court, give 110% and play every game like it’s a state championship and it’s your last game.”
To improve her movement and coordination, Jordan trained with the Team Too Strong Boxing Club and instructor Arlow Jumper, along with her younger brother Talen. Heading into the state tournament, Gann was averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game.
Though she did not get to play for the state title this year, Jordan remains thankful for her opportunities, and especially for those around her who offer support.
“I owe a big thank you to so many,” she said. “God, my coaches, my teammates, the fans, Team Too Strong Boxing Club, friends and family – in particular my aunt and uncles, grandparents, my little brother Talen, Curry my stepdad, my dad Rodney and especially my mom.”