Forest Joiner, 1932-2021
A longtime staff assistant and assistant basketball coach at Jordan High, Forest Joiner was one of those familiar faces that have made Long Beach high schools so special for the last several decades.
A Facebook tribute from former Panthers player and current Lakewood assistant Rob Willis drew dozens of tributes and remembrances of Joiner’s kindness.
“He’s as much a legendary and beloved figure of J-Town as any person who’s walked the campus,” said Willis. “He served young people of our community for what seems like a century.”
Legendary Moore League basketball coach Tim Sweeney–who Lakewood’s gym is named for–said that Joiner’s impact was felt far beyond North Long Beach.
“He was not only beloved by the Jordan Panther community, his influence was far and wide,” said Sweeney. “I first met him while coaching at Poly. He was beyond supportive of me and my family. His friendship continued when I moved to Lakewood High. His positive, loving greeting whenever I took my teams to play the Panthers was much appreciated. The Long Beach community will miss this great iconic figure.”
Kyle Russell was a Jordan student who spoke to the influence that Joiner had on the campus community off the court, aside from the famous exploits of the Jordan basketball teams led by head coach Ron Massey.
“I probably would have been on the path of a statistic without Mr. Joiner,” said Russell, who said Joiner gave him a copy of 48 Laws of Power to read and mentored him to take better care of himself. “He was a real black man who was against seeing his youth become statistics.”
Service information is pending.