Chatman family bluer than ever

Future Cougar Jordan Chatman was recently named the Gatorade Player of the Year as the top player in the state of Washington. Following a mission to Taiwan, he will return home and join his talented sister, Jessica Chatman, who has committed to play for woman's basketball coach Jeff Judkins.

Senior Titan guard Jordan Chatman averaged 20.7 points while hauling in 6.3 rebounds and dishing out 2.7 assists per game this past season. He led his team to a third-place finish in the 4A state tournament, where he increased his average to 27.0 points per game and earned tournament MVP honors.

"Yeah, it was a good year for me," Jordan said. "It was a good way to finish up my senior year."

Jordan and Jeff Chatman

With the season over, he has turned his focus away from basketball. He will enter the MTC on April 25 and begin learning Mandarin before serving in Taiwan.

"I'm kind of excited about the mission," Jordan said with a laugh. "The one thing I am actually nervous about is the farewell. I have to give a 20-minute talk and I'm not actually looking forward to it."

One of the tricks of the trade is to simply have family members speak ahead of you, leaving less time to speak at the end.

"Yeah, they're making me go first!" Jordan said.

It appears Jordan's bishop knows about those farewell tricks.

"Yeah, I got, ‘Hey, take all the time you need,'" Jordan said while laughing.

Jordan has been called to serve in the Taipei, Taiwan Mission. He got to talk to a former Cougar who also served in Taiwan.

"Me and my dad went down to watch BYU play Gonzaga, and then a couple of days later BYU was playing Portland," recalled Chatman. "Me and my dad saw Chad Lewis on the plane coming back, so I got a chance to talk to him about the whole Taiwan thing and the mission. It was cool to hear those different experiences."

Lewis gave Jordan some insight on the people of Taiwan.

"He said the people are really nice down there. He said they were really respectful and just really nice to be around.

"You know, one thing he also told me was to carry a candy bar around. Anytime you eat some bad food you can stick a little piece of the candy bar in your mouth. Yeah, it's a little trick I guess."

After his mission, Jordan will join BYU's basketball program. At this time his younger sister Jessica, who is now a sophomore, will be graduating and preparing to play basketball at BYU as well.

"We'll be freshman players together out there once I get back from my mission," Jordan said. "She's two years younger than I am, so when I get home from my mission we'll be heading down to Provo at the same time."

Jessica Chatman

"It's going to be a lot of fun but at the same time it's going to be kind of weird," said Jessica. "We'll both be in college together, so to me it will be kind of weird, but at the same time I think it's going to be kind of fun to have my brother there with me."

Jessica is a versatile player who averaged 14.4 point a game last season for the Titans. Like her Gatorade Player of the Year older brother, she too is racking up some accolades and was selected as a member of the 4A Greater St. Helens League first-team.

"I've always wanted to go to BYU and it's going to be great playing with Jordan when he gets there," Jessica said. "Of course, my dad played there, so it's going to be a lot of fun being out there in a couple of years."

Having one Chatman representing the women's basketball team while another represents the men's team is a pretty unique family situation.

"Then when you add that my father played there too, it's pretty special," Jessica said.

While Jordan will play for Coach Rose, Jessica will be scoring baskets and winning games for Coach Judkins.

"He is a great coach on and off the court," said Jessica. "On the court I love his style of play and it fits in well with my style of play. He's just a genuine guy off the court and just a really cool guy, and so I'm really excited to be coached by him. I also love all the girls coming up in my class too, so I'm just excited to be out there and play."

On the court, Jessica considers herself to be slasher.

"I'm more of a drive-to-the-basket player," Jessica said. "That's where I get a lot of my points from and create fouls and go to the foul line. I can shoot the ball from the outside but I like to drive more to the basket."

However, Jordan thinks she's more versatile than that.

"It's kind of hard to label a position on her because she can play the point, but then she can post up too," said Jordan. "She's 6-foot and pretty athletic so she's kind of like a point-forward I would say."

It appears as though Jessica's older brother has become quite acquainted with his sister's athleticism in pickup games on the court.

"No, I school him and it's not even funny," Jessica said with a laugh. "I school him."

"Nah, nah, I don't know what she's talking about," said Jordan with a laugh.

But then she confessed.

"No, he beats me every time," she said with a laugh. "Every time we play, he beats me."

All joking aside, the two are very close as brother and sister. In fact, Jessica and Jordan often practice playing on the court together to better their shot and hone their skills.

"Oh yeah, me and him workout pretty much every day together," said Jessica. "With him leaving on his mission, it will definitely hurt me because I won't have a workout partner. Every day we go to the gym together and put some shots up, so we work out all the time together and it's fun."

"Yeah, somebody's gotta rebound for her, you know what I mean?" teased Jordan. "No, we help each other and practice together to help each other with their game. My dad shows us drills too and works out with us and teaches us, so it's been a good family bonding experience."

From Cougar father Jeff down to son Jordan and daughter Jessica, the Cougar bloodlines will continue to run through the Chatman family bluer than ever.

"That's right man, we all bleed blue," said Jordan. "There's no doubt about that."

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