Online Originals: SouthWest Edgecombe 1,000 point family legacy

High School

PINETOPS, N.C. (WNCT) — Scoring 1,000 points in a high school career is a monumental milestone that basketball players dream of reaching one day. At SouthWest Edgecombe High School, there have been few players to achieve that goal. Three of them happen to be from the same family.

Jada Battle, her mother Phyllis and her Aunt Pamela Gorham are a basketball family.

“I think it’s unique to have three players from the same family and all played at SouthWest Edgecombe,” said Sandra Langley, head coach.

All three individuals are a part of the school’s 1,000-point club and played under Langley.

Langley has been leading the basketball teams since South Edgecombe and West Edgecombe merged in 1978. Her teams have racked up four state championships and four runner-up recognitions along the way.

“A lot of coaches don’t stay around as long as I have,” said Langley.

And she has seen it all. On January 15, senior Jada Battle scored her 1,000th career point as a Cougar. Her efforts helped lift the team to a 57-37 win over Washington.

“She’s really, really done a great job,” said Langley. “I told her last year, as a junior, she really stepped it up and did everything that I wanted her to do as a point guard.”

“It’s just so crazy,” said Jada Battle. “We [her family] all got it under the same coach, Sandra Langley. So, that’s what makes it so exciting is that we are all from the same family. It’s just amazing seeing it happen.” 

“I’m just proud of Jada that she was able to reach 1,000 points this year and thankful that we were able to have a season because of COVID,” added Langley.

Jada’s mother, Phyllis, and Aunt Pam graduated from SouthWest in 1987. Known as ‘Double-Trouble’, the twin-sensation played on the school’s first state runner-up team.

“When we would go out to play, people would come in and want to see the twins play,” said Pamela Gorham, Jada’s aunt and a member of the SouthWest Edgecombe Class of 1987. “Not always just the twins, but the SouthWest girls. That meant a lot to us.”

During their playing careers, Phyllis and Pam were only capable of scoring two points at a time. The three-point shot was not incorporated in girls basketball until the season after they both graduated from SouthWest, in 1988.

“We didn’t have the three-pointers then,” a laughing Gorham explained. “If I played now, I would have scored well over 2,000 points.”

A good laugh and being together is what keeps this close-knit family in tact.

“It’s just awesome to be here and see her [Jada] grow up. It really feels like she was a baby here and next thing you know, with the snap of your fingers she is running up and down the court,” said Gorham. “It’s amazing how time flies.”

Today, Pam is giving back to the school as an assistant coach and Phyllis finds herself cheering her team on every game.

Phyllis told 9OYS that it’s an honor to watch her daughter grow, saying it’s like looking in the mirror.

“When I see her playing, I see me through with her great passing, her court awareness and knowing how to penetrate and dish the ball off,” explained Battle. “I was like ‘oh man that girl is playing just like her mother did back in the days’!”

Playing for her family is what Jada does every dribble, every pass and every game.

“My mom and Aunt, they came back here and helped Coach Langley coach, so it’s only right for me to go hard and give it my best,” said Jada Battle.  

While the trio’s playing days at SouthWest Edgecombe come to a close, their family legacy will live on forever. Jada says she too hopes one day to have her children follow in their footsteps.

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