Family on the Hardwood

1 decade 1 year 7 months ago Monday, October 22 2007 Oct 22, 2007 Monday, October 22, 2007 10:04:37 PM CDT October 22, 2007 in News

The tattoo of leather on hardwood has been the heartbeat of the Jorgenson family since before they were a family. Tharen and Candy wove a romance on the basketball courts of Douglas, Wyoming, when both were stand-out athletes. Even now, basketball is the fabric of their family.

"It's definitely been a whole family involvement. We started when Mandy was like 10-11, Travis was a baby that first winter. He's definitely grown up with it. Courtney's grown up with it," said Mid-MO Hustlers coach Candy Jorgenson.

"My very first memory would be watching my sister's team play, the very first Hustlers play, and wishing I had a team," recalled Hustler Courtney Jorgenson. As soon as she was old enough, she got a team, and success quickly followed.

"When we were little, and we were in the Show-Me State Games in Columbia, we won first place," Hustler Becca Shemmer remembered. Through the years they won, and they won, and they won some more.

"They averaged about 100 games a year for 6 straight years, and they weren't used to losing," coach Tharen Jorgenson explained. Not losing became a way of life for this core of hand-picked all-stars and the Jorgensons.

"I've never been on a vacation that doesn't have to do with basketball. My sister, my team or my brother's team... Everywhere we've been it's because of basketball," Courtney Jorgenson said. Basketball was a way of life for all the families on the team. Tesfamikael Tweolde had daughters on both teams.

"Wow! I have never calculated this since our involvement , it would be thousands of dollars. Traveled as far as Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming 7 or 8 times, Ft. Collins 3 or 4 times, Nebraska, name it, we've been all over!" exclaimed Tweolde.

By their senior year, the older Hustlers played their way into the AAU national tournament.

"We'd never gone to nationals before, didn't really know what to expect. Just kept winning games. We went out with 7 kids and everyone told us you need to add players. We thought about it, but the thing about that team is their chemistry, how well they'd played together for so long," Candy Jorgenson said.

"The rewards for this have been awesome. It defines me and Candy. We're what they call mom and pop coaches. We're the only mom and pop coaches at AAU nationals that year. Literally we were the only non-paid coaches. The pay we get is just reward watching the girls graduate and go on," said Coach Tharen Jorgenson.

"We come up against a lot of great teams that fly their kids in from here and there for the tournament. That's why we won the national championship. We didn't have more talent than the people we played, but they had that togetherness and chemistry that other teams didn't have. That's what put them over the top," he continued.

Every members of that team won a basketball scholarship and went on to college.

"The good thing about our teams through the years, we could pick and choose and we picked and chose a group that fits in best with the core group and they all have to be on the same team, the same page," Tharen Jorgenson said.

The same intangible followed the team through each class of new Hustlers.

"Well, skill is always nice, but I don't think it's the most important thing to have. Determination and heart is the biggest thing I look for, that and tons of time spent traveling, practicing and playing," elaborated Candy Jorgenson, "As much time as we spend together, it feels like a family. I think everyone genuinely care about each other on the team and would do anything for each other. I think that makes really special."

This year tragedy struck the core of the team. Courtney Jorgenson blew out her knee and had to have major surgery.

"It was the worst thing in the world. I've seen Courtney have three major injuries. She hurt her ankle in the 8th grade. She was peaking at that time. She tore her ACL her freshman year and her ACL her senior year. It's not fair. It'll make her a stronger person and give her a desire to do whatever she wants," Tharen Jorgenson said.

"I'm happy we still have the team together, and I get to watch. The worst part is like this is my last year to play with them," said Courtney Jorgenson.

The coaches hope that the team defined the girls just as it defined them, and the parents agree.

"Becca started when she was nine, so I guess it's seven years we've been playing with them now. We've made a lot of really good college opportunities for Becca. She's gotten a lot of letters from D-I schools, all the way down to NAIA. So hopefully it'll help when she goes to school," said parent Wendy Shemmer. Each of the four seniors on the last Hustlers team have been contacted by schools interested in giving them athletic scholarships. Two girls on the team have already given verbal commitments, and now that they've gone back to school, it could be the final quarter in the history of the Hustlers.

"Nah, the Hustlers will never end. We've talked about in five years having a Hustler reunion and coaching in Show-Me-State basketball. The Hustlers will always be a family: girls that have had the experience of a lifetime. We've traveled all over the country, had a lot of experiences, and my best friends in the world are my Hustler family. My best friends in the world," reflected Tharen Jorgenson.

They are friends that became family through a bit of leather, tradition, and love.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Workers and volunteers began cleaning up Cooper’s Landing Saturday after recent flooding forced them to close down their... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
HATTON - One man is in custody after leading Callaway County Sheriff's deputies on a chase near Hatton Friday evening.... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 3:04:00 PM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two more women were arrested in connection to the case of a missing Boone County child who was... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, June 15 2019 Jun 15, 2019 Saturday, June 15, 2019 10:12:00 AM CDT June 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Cooper's Landing is asking people to help them clean up after recent flooding. The restaurant closed nearly... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 11:10:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Continuous News
MEXICO - Ayanna Shivers made history on April 8 when the Mexico City Council elected her mayor. Shivers is... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 10:58:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
RUSSELLVILLE - The volunteer fire department in Russellville is celebrating after receiving new tires for one of its trucks. ... More >>
18 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:42:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Chariton County man charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his fiance has pleaded not guilty.... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 9:04:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - People living along West Broadway in Columbia are joining forces to protect three 100 year old houses. ... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 7:08:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Employees at Veterans United Home Loans donated $100,000 Friday to the American Red Cross for tornado and... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 6:44:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Skateboard enthusiasts say there's no reason for newbies to be afraid of taking part in Saturday's Shred Fest.... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 6:21:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A Fortuna man who previously pleaded guilty to killing a baby and burning the body asked to withdraw... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 4:12:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY - Preservationists in the capital city are implementing a plan to avoid demolition of historic buildings hit by... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 2:38:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A neighborhood block party the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department will host Saturday aims to bring the neighborhood... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police arrested a man early Friday in connection to an ongoing drug investigation. Officers said they... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 1:57:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man Thursday after he reportedly tried to set a fire at the home of his... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 12:59:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Task Force 1 spent Wednesday and Thursday training in Galveston, TX with the Missouri Army National Guard... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 12:46:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - Prosecutors charged an Audrain County inmate with murder on Friday, a day after he allegedly killed another... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 12:20:00 PM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A veteran Oklahoma educator has been tapped to serve as the new principal at West Boulevard Elementary School... More >>
1 day ago Friday, June 14 2019 Jun 14, 2019 Friday, June 14, 2019 11:54:00 AM CDT June 14, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
5pm 85°
6pm 84°
7pm 83°
8pm 80°