Basketball Jordan

Jordan Basketball Receives CIF-SS Rings In Halftime Ceremony

The562’s coverage of Jordan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by former LBUSD superintendent Chris Steinhauser.

It’s been a year of celebration for the Jordan boys’ basketball team following the Panthers’ historic Moore League and CIF-SS championships, which served to bring back pride in North Long Beach’s historical top program. Head coach Chris Francis was keen to keep the party going and that’s just what they did, with a ring ceremony at halftime of the Jordan vs Millikan football game last Friday night.

The school laid down a blue carpet at midfield and presented each coach and player with their CIF-SS rings from last year’s championship season, as the home crowd cheered on each one. It was an especially poignant moment for Francis, who began his Long Beach basketball coaching career at Millikan before moving to Jordan to make history.

“It’s the perfect way to celebrate this,” he said. “It was a real family type atmosphere, my Millikan people were real nice tonight and obviously J-Town has been behind us. This is good for this community, really good for this community.”

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Francis announced each player’s name and they walked the blue carpet to receive their ring, escorted by a Jordan cheerleader, as the crowd cheered them on.

“It really makes you feel like the work you put in was worth it,” said Francis. “These kids have been going to school together since elementary school, that was the best feeling about this. It was done with community kids. It’s an awesome feeling for these kids to get embraced by their community.”

Several Jordan players who had graduated came back home for the celebration, including Frankie Chambers, who won several honors including CIF-SS Player of the Year.

“This was our goal from the start of the season,” said Chambers. “They promised me we’d have a good team and we just stayed together and got the job done. I did what I came here to do.”

Chambers said that while getting a CIF-SS ring would be special no matter how it happened, it definitely made it even more significant that it happened during the football game with a nice-sized crowd on hand to celebrate the team’s accomplishments.

“It makes it 10 times more fun because there’s more eyes on you and more applause,” he said. “I can’t be more happy than what it is now. This is special.”

The football game ended in defeat for Jordan, but as the basketball team posed with its rings at halftime, the message was clear: North Long Beach is just getting started.

Mike Guardabascio
An LBC native, Mike Guardabascio has been covering Long Beach sports professionally for 13 years, with his work published in dozens of Southern California magazines and newspapers. He's won numerous awards for his writing as well as the CIF Southern Section’s Champion For Character Award, and is the author of three books about Long Beach history.