Performance: East Jordan’s Jordan Weber

December 15, 2015

Jordan Weber
East Jordan senior – Basketball

Nine seconds into his team's new season, Weber became East Jordan’s all-time leading scorer. The 6-foot senior guard drilled a deep 3-pointer on his team's first possession against opening-night opponent Mancelona to break the former record of 1,170 points set by Mike Goebel from 1983-86 and earn this week’s Michigan National Guard “Performance of the Week.” (See below for video of his history-making shot and the brief recognition that followed .) He finished with 24 points total in the 66-20 road win.

Heading into tonight’s game against Charlevoix, Weber has 1,193 points and a number of additional school records: 45 points scored in a game, 614 for one season, 91 3-pointers in one season and 208 3-pointers over his four-year varsity career. His 3-pointers last season were the 13th-most in MHSAA history, and with a similar output this winter he’ll finish among the top five on the career list. Weber has played big parts in multiple history-making team accomplishments as well. As a sophomore, he helped Class C East Jordan to its first District championship since 1997 and first Regional championship since 1953. He has a few more similar opportunities ahead. The Red Devils went a combined 36-11 over the last two seasons finishing second and then third in the Lake Michigan Conference – and this winter should again contend for a first league championship since 2000. They also are possible contenders while seeking their first MHSAA championship. 

Weber also plays baseball, and he is ranked eighth academically of 63 students in his graduating class with a 3.66 grade-point average while taking multiple Advanced Placement courses. He has opportunities to continue his basketball and academic career at multiple small colleges in Michigan and Illinois, and would like to eventually study physical therapy.   

Coach (and father) Darrin Weber said: “Jordan has been fortunate to have outstanding teammates. Without the kids he’s played with, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. He has a great understanding of the game, outstanding offseason work ethic and an extremely high competitive drive. He has been the best player I have ever coached."

Performance Point: “Obviously it was an honor to get that. I was preparing for that game just like I was preparing for any other game, but it was in the back of my mind. Going in, I just wanted to win the game. I didn’t want to take over, force myself to get the record. I just let the game get to me, and it happened in the first nine seconds. If I’m open, it’s going up. To become the all-time leader in anything is a big deal, in any level of play, if they are going to stop the game and congratulate you. But it was just that I needed two more points; the dream for me (instead) would be to win the state title.

Title aspirations: “To win a conference title, it’s a lot more important than just to win the District title or anything like that. It means we’re playing better than anyone in the conference the whole year. “(In the MHSAA Tournament,) we’re like a Cinderella team, like an eight seed, nine or 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It motivates me just to get that spotlight on the team, small East Jordan down there making it that far.”

Father knows best: “I get two points of view from the same person. There’s the coaching standpoint, and then I go home and talk to him as Dad. He’s hard on me in practice, and I like that. I don’t want a soft coach. Then, to love a father figure in this game I love … he’s coached me since elementary school, and we’ve always been able to connect like that.”

He’s got game: “I’m not just going to sit in the corner and shoot. I’m going to create my shot, going to create shots for other people. I like to get my shot off quickly like (Golden State’s) Steph Curry does. I like to try to attack the rim as hard as (Oklahoma City’s) Russell Westbrook does. Try to, at least.”

Leaving a legacy: “I like to leave something like that, for kids coming up to all want to shoot like Jordan Weber. There’s a little youth program my dad holds every Saturday, and I haven’t missed a Saturday. All the kids love seeing me there … (and I like) to be a role model for little kids.”

– Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2015-16 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, respond as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our Nation's freedom, or protecting lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2015-16 honorees
Dec. 8: Kaitlyn Geers, Kent City girls basketball – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) East Jordan's Jordan Weber unloads a shot during a game last season; he set his school's career scoring record last week against Mancelona. (Middle) Weber, right, poses with his dad and coach Darrin Weber. (Photos courtesy of the Weber family.)

Little Provides Major Stride as 1st Woman to Officiate Boys Hoops Final since 1995

By Keith Dunlap
Special for

April 13, 2023

Delonda Little was already a trailblazer to many before this year’s MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals.

Greater DetroitBut what happened last month at Breslin Center made her even more of one on a statewide level.

A referee and assigner for 20 years in the Detroit area, Little is a female boys and girls basketball official who mentors both male and female referees – no matter the gender or level, as she officiates high school and college games.

Officials often go to Little for guidance, direction and assignments, which has made her respected for years throughout Metro Detroit in the prep basketball community. Then, her status as a trailblazer grew even more.

Little was assigned as an official for the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis, and she became the first female referee to officiate an MHSAA Boys Basketball Final since Traverse City’s Barb Beckett 1995.

“It was a very good feeling to know I was the one selected,” said Little, who officiated the Final with Matt Olson and Zach Porritt.  

In fact, while attending a Semifinal game the Friday before the Final, Little received a phone call from an area code she didn’t recognize.

She answered, and it was Beckett.

“At first I didn’t know the name,” Little said. “I said, ‘No, I don’t know you, but that’s fine.’”

Beckett then explained she was the first female referee to be assigned a Boys Basketball Final, and just wanted to offer support to Little.

At that point, Little became excited and thankful she answered the call.

“It was very nice to hear from her because she wanted to reach out and if not pass the torch, to congratulate me,” Little said.

Little, 51, said she found out she was going to be refereeing the Division 3 boys championship game just before the start of the postseason when she received an email from the MHSAA.

“I’m looking at the email and I’m like, boys?” Little said. “I was shocked.”

But she was shocked in a good way, and obviously excited for the honor.

Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.Little didn’t find out until a couple of days before the St. Francis/Beecher contest that she would be officiating that specific championship game, but the Monday of boys championship week was when she really started to receive congratulations from friends and colleagues.

That’s when an article came out in the Detroit News detailing her selection, which led to countless calls, texts and congratulatory messages on social media.

“I couldn’t even (keep up with the comments),” she said. “That’s how overwhelming the actual tags were. It came from all across the state with officials, men and women, because I do women’s college (games). Some of the college ladies were reaching out. I was getting all the hoopla before the game.”

Little said she normally doesn’t get nervous for games, but not having some nerves became a bit harder once so many people knew of her achievement.

However, she settled into a normal routine quickly once the game started.

“I wanted to get it done, get it over with and do well,” she said.

Little did do well, which is no surprise to everyone who knew her before she officiated on the boys championship stage.

It was just another feather in the cap for Little, who in 2016 became the first woman to officiate a boys Detroit Public School League championship game.

“Delonda is one of the top officials in the Detroit area, and our staff doesn’t look at Delonda as a female working a boys game – we see one of the top officials in Detroit working a basketball game,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “There are females officiating in the NBA and female officials in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The aspect that made Delonda’s selection for this MHSAA championship game nearly unique will soon be the norm at all levels of athletics.”     

Little graduated from Detroit Osborn in 1989 and starred on the basketball court at Wayne State, earning induction into WSU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.

Her day job is as an officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, but her passion is officiating. She’s been an MHSAA-registered official for basketball for two decades and also was registered for volleyball for four years. This past fall she registered for football for the first time.

“I get something from it because it keeps me in shape, I love the people I work with and I like the kids,” Little said. “You are always teaching, and I like training the newer officials. I just enjoy it. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I wasn’t refereeing.”

Going forward, Little hopes her championship game assignment will now be an inspiration for other female referees.

“There aren’t very many women who would like to work boys basketball or feel comfortable,” Little said. “If that’s something they desire, I’m hoping more women are selected to work the games if they feel comfortable.”

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at [email protected] with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties

PHOTOS (Top) Delonda Little takes her position on the court during the Division 3 Boys Basketball Final on March 25 at Breslin Center. (Middle) Little monitors the action between Flint Beecher and Traverse City St. Francis.