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The Commercial Appeal

Jordan Frison almost didn't go to Overton. Now he's helping it make history

By Wynston Wilcox, Memphis Commercial Appeal,

2023-03-15
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MURFREESBORO — The stage never seems too big for Jordan Frison, who nearly finished with a triple-double in Overton boys basketball’s 74-55 win over McMinn County in the Class 4A state quarterfinals.

Even though he said after the game, no matter how they prepared for playing in Murphy Center last week, it didn't come close to comparing to “those bright lights,” Frison said.

Yet, he still found a way to one-up himself.

His 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists topped any other player on the court and was just another chapter in Frison’s storied career at Overton. The Wolverines will play Hillsboro on Friday at 10 a.m. in the 4A semifinals at Murphy Center.

But it’s a career that almost didn’t exist.

"My first year, I never even thought I would enter Overton in my life,” Frison said after the section win over Dickson County. “Going here and ending a 60-year drought, it’s crazy.”

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Frison and his family had a decision to make after he finished middle school on where he would continue his high school career. Germantown and Overton were atop the list.

Frison’s dad, Vincent, said he originally looked at Germantown as the next stop in his son’s career.

"I was trying to see where he could get on the floor the fastest,” Frison’s dad said.

But the roster was loaded, and he felt his son would sift down the bottom of the lineup and would have limited minutes.

When it was time to choose Overton, he saw a better fit for Jordan to be able to get time on the court, but knew he wasn’t going to have the role that best fit him.

During his freshman season, Frison played off-ball and was more of a spot-up shooter. Frison’s dad suggested to Overton coach Shelvie Rose that Jordan should play more on-ball to capitalize on his potential. Rose had trained Jordan before, so he had seen how talented Jordan was.

It was the best decision he and his family have ever made.

“Hands down, best decision I’ve ever made,” Frison said.

Now three years later, Jordan is one of the best players in Overton basketball history.

He’s also helping Overton make history this season.

The Wolverines (31-11) have had one of the most historic seasons in program history, ending a 60-year wait to return to the state tournament. Along the way, the Wolverines have won a city championship and region championship this season. He was also a 4A Mr. Basketball finalist.

“He deserves everything that he’s getting right now,” Rose said.

None of that is possible without Frison.

"I’m so glad he made that decision,” Rose said. “... The rest is history.”

What Jordan Frison means to Overton and Memphis high school basketball as a whole means more than the Frisons can comprehend.

Frison stuck by Overton during the pandemic and opted to stay instead of depart for a junior season elsewhere. Overton stuck by Frison and helped groom him into one of the area’s best players.

Now he’s helping the Overton community celebrate a historic run that could end on Saturday afternoon with gold ball. Rose believes he has the team to win a state championship, and that confidence comes with his senior leader who has this team with a legitimate chance at being the best in Overton history.

"I couldn’t imagine where he’s at now,” Vincent Frison said.

“I can’t think of many players who’s racked up as many accolades as he racked up this season. It’s special.”

Reach Wynston Wilcox at wwilcox@gannett.com and on Twitter @wynstonw__.

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