The Suburbanite
  • Postcard from Massillon: St. Mary eighth-grader big Internet hit with trick shots video

  • St. Mary Catholic School student, Jordan Ransaw, became an online YouTube video star in seven shots.

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  • Seven shots. That’s what it took for Jordan Ransaw, an eighth-grade basketball standout at St. Mary Catholic School in Massillon, to become an online YouTube video star.
    Admittedly, it took more than a few attempts for him to make the trick shots that were caught on video by friend Anthony Tang and posted online — individually and together in an eighth video — by coach and mentor at St. Mary, Matt Heck. But, that’s because the shots Jordan was attempting at an all-night fundraising “lockdown” in the school gym were unorthodox.
    Watch the video of Jordan in action.
    “It started out he and I were shooting shots, just goofing around,” said Heck. “He was shooting shots behind his back and under his leg. Hook shots from half court. And Anthony caught them on video with his cellphone.”
    That he would make so many of such shots is unsurprising to those who have seen Jordan’s basketball talent displayed in his play for the St. Mary’s team.
    Taller than six feet and weighing more than 240 pounds — “Doctors say he will 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-10 by the time he’s done growing,” said his mother, Robin Martin of Massillon — Jordan scored 25 points a game for St. Mary’s. He also averaged 16 rebounds, four blocked shots and five assists a game.
    This past season, Jordan teamed with his best friend and the coach’s son, Quinton Heck, and five others at St. Mary’s — Ian Modd, Chad Fichter, Klay Moll, Ryan Keane, and Nolan Helline — to win the Stark County league for private and parochial schools.
    “His best game was 39 points,” said his mom.
    Even his older brother, Derrick Ransaw, who frequently enjoys a good-natured on-court sibling rivalry, smiles in his assessment of Jordan’s talent and says, “He’s almost there.”
    But, despite the obvious love of basketball that Jordan has nurtured, the most important point total in the young athlete’s life is his grade-point average. It has been rising since he began attending St. Mary’s in 2011.
    “It was a better environment for me,” said Jordan. “I thought I could reach my goals if I went to a place that has fewer distractions, where I can focus on my education.”
    The parochial school has smaller class sizes that offer opportunities for more individual attention to students, explains Heck. Quinton already was attending the school and could serve as Jordan’s support. Next year, the two are planning to attend Central Catholic High School, to continue the parochial school atmosphere that has been beneficial to both.
    It is as Jordan’s father, also Derrick Ransaw, says.
    Page 2 of 2 - “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
    Jordan’s goals athletic include playing in college and, he dreams, professionally. Heck sees pursuing those goals as enabling Jordan to be “challenged both in basketball and the classroom,” in order that he develops “a foundation that prepares him for life in general.”
    “Basketball skill is a God-given gift that he can use to get where he wants to go and have fun doing it,” said Heck. “And he does have a lot of fun doing it.”

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