St. Charles East senior guard Paige Jordan has left the team, citing escalating off-court drama with teammates that affected her "everywhere and everything."
Jordan later referred to her motives as "just girl stuff," but given East's 5-0 start in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division, the ripples figure to go beyond the superficial.
"I guess it's just the team and I have had many difficulties throughout the years, and I decided that it wasn't worth all the stress and always being upset," Jordan said Thursday. "And I wanted to put all my focus toward golf since I'm playing that in college, so I thought it would be best to put all my focus toward my future with golf."
The reigning Kane County Chronicle Girls Golfer of the Year, Jordan also has shined in basketball during her high school career, joining the varsity as a sophomore. Last season, she averaged 14.5 points, 1.4 steals and 1.4 assists per game as an all-UEC River selection.
She said she is undecided in her college golf choice, but her suitors include NCAA Division I programs.
Jordan said she considered this season's basketball success, and said, "I just loved basketball too much to quit" in the past. East's 10-7 run to open the season included last month's home overtime victory against perennial conference power Geneva. Jordan matched teammate Carly Pottle with 25 points to lead the Saints in that game.
"We were playing really well and I was having a really solid season, but it got to the point where it wasn't worth the stress, the drama," Jordan said. "So it was just time to end it."
East rallied to capture the consolation crown at the Wheaton North Bill Neibch Falcon Classic over the weekend, winning its final three games after a tournament-opening loss.
Jordan played through the consolation semifinal of the tournament and informed coach Lori Drumtra of her decision Dec. 28.
On Thursday, Drumtra kept her Jordan comments succinct.
"For right now, I'm just leaving it as she is not back and that's all I would say," Drumtra said.
– Kevin Druley, firstname.lastname@example.org