Junior Jordan McPhee is Seattle Pacific’s second-leading scorer — and her twin, Brittany, is Stanford’s No. 2 scorer. They were standout players at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines.
It’s after practice when Seattle Pacific junior guard Jordan McPhee misses twin sister Brittany the most.
“It’s the shooting with her,” said Jordan, who is one of the top players on SPU’s women’s basketball team. “We would get extra shots up, and we would do that all the time. Just shooting, and messing around.”
The two sisters starred at Mount Rainier High School in Des Moines, with Brittany carving out one of the greatest careers in state history as the state player of the year three times and a Parade All-American as a senior in 2014.
That earned Brittany, who is 2 inches taller than Jordan at 6 feet, a scholarship to Stanford while Jordan, who was first-team all-South Puget Sound League as a junior and senior, chose to play close to home at SPU.
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“It was tough, but I think it was something that we both needed,” Jordan said of going to a different college than her sister. “I think it was good to get away and figure out who we are without each other. I think we both ended up in places we are really happy with.”
Although separated by several hundred miles, the sisters remain close, and Jordan said the two talk daily. Jordan keeps close tabs on what Brittany is doing at Stanford, where she is having a breakout year as the team’s second-leading scorer at 13.3 points per game.
“I follow very closely, but not as closely as I should,” she said. “But I try to stay on top of it and catch as many of her games as I can.”
Jordan is also the second-leading scorer on her team. She is averaging 11.1 points per game for the Falcons and is in the top three on her team in rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots. On defense, she is often assigned to guard the opponent’s best player.
“I think I’ve grown so much as a player,” McPhee said. “We push each other so much here, and playing every day with these teammates, they have made me better.
“But there are still days when I miss playing with Brittany. Just her energy and her attitude and her can-do. She knew what it took. But I don’t rely on her anymore and that’s helped me grow.”
Seattle Pacific coach Julie Heisey raves about what a fierce competitor Jordan McPhee is, in everything she does. She is nearly a 4.0 student, finishing with less than an A in a class for the first time this past quarter, when she got an A-minus.
“Jordan doesn’t do anything without giving it 100 percent,” Heisey said. “She is a great offensive rebounder and it’s fun to see her make the extra effort. She is hard to guard because she is very active, and makes beautiful cuts. Jordan is fast and whoever is guarding her is going to have to run.”
Running was always something Jordan was better at than Brittany. As a sophomore at Mount Rainier High, Jordan won the state 4A cross-country title, then won the state 1,600-meters title in track. Twice, she was second in the state in the 3,200 before giving up track after her sophomore season to focus on basketball.
There is not a time in her life when McPhee cannot remember playing basketball. Her father, Bryce, was a star for Gonzaga who played with John Stockton. Her mother, Alice, played at Eastern Washington. Her two older brothers played high-school basketball, and one played in college.
“I was just talking to Brittany about it, on how lucky we are to have always had (basketball) our whole lives and to have this thing that brought us all together,” Jordan said. “I don’t remember making a conscious choice to play basketball, but I’ve never not wanted to play basketball. I’ve always loved it.”
McPhee said she would have a tough time beating her father in a game of H-O-R-S-E.
“It would be close, but he has all those trick shots,” she said. “Those trick shots would kill me.”
McPhee is majoring in business management, but is unsure what she wants to do when she graduates. Of course, she still has a lot she wants to accomplish at SPU first. The Falcons (13-3, 5-3 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) were ranked No. 14 in the nation before a pair of losses last weekend.
“I think we can be really good,” she said. “We can’t these last couple of losses spiral. I think the biggest thing is playing 40 minutes, and not have those lulls where we get behind. And I think we can do it. We’re all pretty driven.”
It’s Jordan’s drive that has set her apart.
“You have to be competitive in my family if you want anything,” she said. “I think I got it from my dad, that little edge, that you just can’t lose. You learn what it takes to win, and that you have to do all the little things. I think that’s really helped, in school and in basketball. It takes doing everything if you want to win.
“I can’t imagine not giving it my all.”