Gordon signs to play for Auburn

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Heritage Hills senior Rebekah Gordon signed her letter of intent on Wednesday to continue her basketball career at Auburn University. Looking on are mother Rachel (left), father Brandon (right) and Patriots coach Kim Brown (far right).  

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

LINCOLN CITY - Playing college basketball has been Rebekah Gordon's dream ever since she was in fourth grade, and on Wednesday, she realized her dream by signing to play at the highest level of them all. The Heritage Hills star inked her letter of intent to continue her career at Auburn University.

Gordon is on the verge of becoming just the second player in the history of Heritage Hills girls basketball to score 1,000 career points, and could help set a record for the most wins by a class in program history. The Heritage Hills girls class of 1995 won 57 games, while Gordon and her teammates that are part of the Class of 2021 currently have 51 wins.

This day has been a long time coming, and Patriots coach Kim Brown saw something special in Gordon years before she even got to high school.

"I've known Bekah since she was a little toddler," Brown said. "She and my daughter (Aubree) are very good friends. I've known her all her life, basically, and Bekah early on, I would say, probably third or fourth grade - you could tell she had a drive in her. The other kids enjoyed playing, but Bekah had a drive, and she wanted to have the ball in her hands all the time."

Mother Rachel Gordon remembers when her daughter wrote a paper in fourth grade about wanting to play at the collegiate level, and Rachel and father Brandon Gordon did what they could to make Rebekah's dreams come true.

"We're very proud, to say the least," Rachel said. "It's almost surreal. I know this has been a dream of Rebekah's for a long, long time."

Rebekah felt a lot of weight off of her shoulders after she signed with the Tigers on Wednesday. She can now focus more on school ball and helping the Patriots get ready for the sectional.

She fielded offers from other NCAA Division I programs in San Jose State University, Austin Peay State University (Tenn.) and La Salle University (Pa.), but in the end, Auburn won out.

"Right from the start, when I started talking to their assistant coach (Ty Evans, now at Tennessee University), he got to know me outside of basketball, and he got to talk to my parents," Rebekah said. "And then we kind of focused more on how I can fit on the team - defense and offensive-wise, and just the opportunities they were about to give me."

Rebekah intends to study kinesiology as her pre-physical therapy major, and then go into PT school after that. The Tigers would like to have a better days ahead after going 11-18 in their 2019-20 season. Rebekah thinks she can attack the rim on both sides of the ball and use her versatility to create opportunities for her and her teammates.

"Auburn is mainly a defense school, they really focus on that," Rebekah said. "So, it's just being prepared on the speed and focusing more on the defensive side."
Kim hailed Rebekah as a workhorse who will do whatever she needs to do, but she doesn't believe her senior has even reached her potential yet. She thinks Rebekah will grow even more with the constant focus on basketball and all of the training to be had.

Yet, it's not just Rebekah's basketball skills that Kim loves.

"She's a good person, and that's one of the things I take the most pride in the girls on this team," she said. "We're growing good people in our program, and that's something I take great pride in."

The Pats are currently 1-0, and will try to make it 2-0 on Thursday at home against Evansville Reitz. They last won the Pocket Athletic Conference in the 1995-96 season, and last won a sectional championship in the 1993-94 campaign. Heritage Hills graduated only one senior from last year's team, and is looking for this year to be its breakthrough year.

"I want to say yes," Kim said. "If we're going to do it, this would be a great year to have it happen."

"I really think so," Rebekah later said. "Just knowing the potential we've had the past few years, and I really think this year, if we really focus in on it and work hard every day, we can achieve that."




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