Former Manila star adjusts to college life

Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Jordan Wise of Manila is attending college at Harding University where he is red-shirting this year as a member of the Bison basketball team. (Town Crier photo/Trent Fletcher)

This is the first in a series of articles about students from Manila, Riverside and Buffalo Island Central who are furthering their education as well as their sports careers in college.

Jordan Wise of Manila is attending college at Harding University where he is red-shirting this year as a member of the Bison basketball team. The former Manila standout said attending college is a lot different from high school.

"I enjoy going to classes and learning but it is very different," said Wise. "As far as practice, we stretch and warm up and it's like a battle field out there. The whole week is just going as hard as you can go. It's just so different. We (Harding University) play two Division 1 schools every year so I am looking forward to that."

Wise finished his high school career as one of Manila's most decorated players. The former All-State guard was named All-Conference three straight years and made the NEA All-Tournament team three years in succession. Wise was selected as the Jonesboro Sun Player of the Week on two different occasions and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Greene County Tech Thanksgiving Classic. Wise ranks near the top of most of Manila's offensive charts, having scored 1667 career points while dishing out 291 career assists. Wise also finished his high school career with 270 three pointers and his 107 treys during his senior campaign is the single season Lion record.

The red-shirt freshman realizes that putting up the kind of numbers he did in his high school career won't come easy against the more athletic and stronger players he will face in college.

Wise, who now stands around six feet, said he is trying to get bigger. "When I first got up there I was getting pushed around a lot in practice. I'm trying to get bigger and stronger and better. I've gained some weight and grown some. I am putting in a lot of time in the weight room as I try to get ready for next season."

Wise found himself homesick when he first arrived in Searcy. It was the first time the 18-year old had been away from home for any extended period of time. Fortunately for Wise, he hit it off with his new roommate who is also a red-shirt freshman.

"It took some getting used to, being away from home, but it is going a lot better now and I like it," continued Wise. "I was a little homesick at first and I came home every weekend. I had to get used to staying up there (Searcy). My roommate is from Dallas. He came from a very different background and environment than me. I am little town and he is big city. But it is a great learning experience. He is red-shirting as well and that helps a lot."

As Wise readies himself for his inaugural season in the collegiate ranks, he also is working very hard in the classroom and is looking forward to the next four years at Harding University.

"I can't wait to get started," said Wise. "I love playing basketball and I can't wait to get back on the court. This is a really great experience for me. I couldn't be happier."

Wise comes from a sports oriented family. His father, Junior Wise, coached his son in basketball and baseball throughout his elementary and early teenage years. His mother Sandy attends all his games and younger sister Kimberly is a star player on Manila's Junior Lady Lions basketball team. For Jordan and his family, the 2006-2007 Harding University basketball season cannot come soon enough.

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