By Ken Lay

Carter Middle School eighth grader Jordan Heifner recently closed out a stellar middle school career.

And when she did so, she was in elite company. A three-year middle school career, including her seventh and eighth-grade years starring for the Lady Hornets, ended with Heifner scoring 1,000 points.

“It was a big honor,” said Heifner, who started her career as a sixth grader at Jefferson Middle School in Jefferson City. “I didn’t really know how much it meant but it was a big honor.”

Heifner, who also runs track at Carter, has a passion for the game of basketball.

“I like to play basketball and I play basketball and then I go back and play basketball again,” she said. “My parents always pushed me to do what I wanted to do and not what they wanted me to do.

“I love to run and I love to play basketball. I also like to ride my bike.”

Heifner, who competes as a distance runner for the Lady Hornets, is a point guard and acts as a team leader on the floor.

“Playing with and against those players has made me better,” said Heifner, who competes in the 800-meter run and the mile run on the track team for Carter Middle School. “Some of the girls I play against in school, I play with them in AAU.”

Many local boys and girls began their scholastic careers in the Knox County middle school league. Players such as Erin Walsh, Jai Jai McLaughlin (West Valley), Crystal Kesler and Taylor Mills played at Holston.

The 1,000-point career earns her a place beside those players and former boys standouts Cameron Sharp (Halls) and Jalen Steele (Holston).

Her father, Richard, is her AAU coach.

She noted that she is a University of Tennessee sports fan and her favorite basketball player is Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James.