SENIOR guard Jordan Foster has an easy explanation why he has been successful in giving the Columbus East boys basketball team a spark this season.
“I always have loved basketball,” said the 6-foot-1 Foster, who plays a sixth man role for the Olympians.
It might be that simple.
Whether he plays 25 minutes in a game, or five, he is grateful to be part of an East team off to a 5-1 record with victories against Class 4A power Columbus North and Class 3A juggernaut Batesville.
“I guess I’ve always been a huge team player,” he said. “That’s been in track or basketball or cross-country or in my band at church. I’m OK with what will make the team its best. I just focus on my role in the game.”
East coach Brent Chitty loves that attitude and emphasizes that the Olympians would not be in their current position without Foster’s considerable contributions.
The Foster file
WHO: Jordan Foster
SCHOOL: Columbus East
SIZE: 6-foot-1, 165 pounds
NEXT GAME: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Franklin County
“He is just a very smart kid and he relates well to basketball,” Chitty said. “I’ve put him in some tough situations at crucial times in games. He is a sixth man kind of guy and it takes a special maturity to accept that role.
“He is a hard-nosed kid who is very coachable. His value to our team is incredible.”
Foster realizes he might not be the most physically gifted player on the floor, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make the big play. He often is called to make the key defensive play against an opponent who is much taller.
“I would say that I am a fairly quick player,” Foster said. “I have the will, the want to. I’m not scared to guard anyone out there. I think I can take whoever I guard out of their offense.”
After playing mainly with the junior varsity last season, Foster wanted to work hard to earn himself a role with the varsity.
“I met with Jordan during the summer,” Chitty said. “In today’s basketball, you want to let kids know where they stand. We try to do that with everyone, so we can get everyone on the same page.
“We wanted him to give us energy off the bench and to put the team first. He has done that. He gives us his effort and his attitude, just the way he goes at it. He is a kid who wants to be perfect, and he puts the pressure on himself to be good.”
Jordan has helped build the Olympians into a unit that is attracting attention.
“I think we have proven that we can play with the top teams in the state,” he said. “I think we have the talent to make it to a level that people don’t expect from us. We have a ton of potential and a lot of great guys on this team. We have tight-knit, family sort of guys.”
A 3.7 grade-point average student, Jordan hopes to pursue mechanical engineering in college. He has yet to pick a university but said he is leaning toward Ball State.
East continues its season in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff Friday at Franklin County.