By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The big dreams David Jordan once formulated in the classrooms of the old Millington Central High School were in full gear until March 11.
Once the concerns of the coronavirus/COVID-19 hit the United States and bloomed into a full out pandemic, Jordan’s quick visit to his parents David Sr. and Sandra in Tipton County turned into an extended stay. The 2005 UT-Martin and 2008 University of Phoenix graduate saw his careers come to a halt in the matter of seconds. The editor and chief of Eshe Magazine had to develop a different method for his online publication.
The journalism teacher saw his class at American University Prep School in Los Angeles come to an abrupt end. And the former Division I and professional basketball player saw his coaching duties at LaVerne University canceled for the rest of the 2019-20 season.
“Just watching everything unfold, in my lifetime I’ve never seen an event like this that shuts down everything,” Jordan said. “It brought the world to a halt. Every day is a new day. Every day is a new development here or across the world. It’s something new everyday. You just have to roll with it and go with the flow. You can’t get mad about it — just go with the flow.”
Before the coronavirus crisis hit the world, Jordan was flowing toward his goals in life. The boy who grew up in North Shelby County developed a life on the left coast.
“One of the things, I’ve always had was big goals and aspirations,” he said. “I’ve always had big dreams. I knew then I wouldn’t be able to do all the things I wanted to do by just staying in Tennessee. Everybody who has inspired me have lived all over the world.
“California was always one of the places I wanted to be even before I moved out there,” Jordan added. “ I always pushed myself to go wherever I wanted to be and California was one of those places.”
Back in 2000, Jordan signed a national letter of intent out of Millington to play ball at Mississippi Valley State University. He wrapped up his eligibility at Martin with the Skyhawks.
He was able to play professionally while pursuing a teaching career. He was an instructor at Woodstock Middle School while earning his MBA at the University of Phoenix.
Then in 2014, Jordan branched out with his journalism degree to start Eshe Magazine. Eshe means life in Egyptian.
“I saw a need for factual media when it deals with people doing things everywhere,” he said. “Not just celebrities, but there is great people doing great things in medicine, sports, fashion, education, all aspects. And people don’t get a chance to be recognized or have their stuff on full display.
“One of the key things I have is ‘Eshe. Your life. Your words. Your thoughts.’ It’s the people,” Jordan added.
Eshe has profiled many figures like Jim Brown, Allen Iverson and more. Jordan said his focus is to tell stories through the prospective of those who lived it and were involved.
His journalism experience allows Jordan to teach his students from a firsthand viewpoint.
“It’s been fulfilling the same way as coaching,” he said. “Studied journalism as an undergraduate and now I can teach from my experience along with books.”
Playing on multiple level has assisted Jordan in coaching. Jordan joined the Lady Leopard staff of Head Coach Jason Pruitt as an assistant.
“Like I’ve always said, it wasn’t really something I saw myself doing,” he acknowledged. “An old college teammate is coaching out there and he had been asking me, ‘Come on man and join me.’ He took over a new program at the right time and by the grace of God brought us together and we were able to have a very success season this year.”
Jordan’s work with players like All-SCIAC selection Jaazzlyn Johnson has paid off.
“It was our first winning season in nearly a decade,” he noted. “We had a couple of award-winning players. Just building. It’s very rewarding and refreshing. It’s been fun because everyday is like a new day on the sideline.
“I really enjoy the mental challenge and instilling game plans in my players,” Jordan added. “Taking the extra time with an all-conference player like Jazzlyn. She worked a few extra minutes after a game and stay an hour after practice to fix little things. Then you go for 30 in a game. It’s worth it.”
Jordan said while back home the thing he misses the most is all his players. Zoom conferences have kept him in touch with the La Verne crew. He is formulating story ideas to document this part of history for his magazine. And he can’t wait to reunite with his students to discuss all of this.
“We’re going to have plenty of information when everything is over about everything that’s happened,” he said. “In the future we’ll be telling everybody, ‘Back in 2020, everything in the world shut down and you couldn’t do this or do that.’
“It’s going to be the same way we saw things in the history books like Great Depression, polio and things like that,” Jordan continued. “To this point the biggest the thing that ever happened was 9/11, the Challenger explosion. Those were big events but they didn’t shut down everything. This is different.”
For now, Jordan will make the most of his break from his normal grind to make the most of his time with his folks and being home.
“I have a ticket, it’s just a matter of going back,” he concluded. “It’s ‘Hey I’m either going to be out there doing nothing by myself or stuck home with my parents enjoying that time.’”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.