Genna Larose and Jordan Gros are a couple of seniors attending E. D. White Catholic High School in Thibodaux. But they are so much more than that. They are basketball players—serving as point guard and center, respectively. They are teammates, able to triumph together and help each other succeed along the way. This season is their last together, and they are certainly making the most of it. E. D. White has never quite seen such a successful pair. Though Genna and Jordan will go their separate ways after graduation, the pair expects to follow similar paths. And they will no doubt meet after the season has ended, perhaps to cheer on old teammates in next year’s season. These girls aren’t just teammates, they are best friends.
AT THE TOP
The roots of this friendship can be traced back through basketball—much younger versions of themselves playing in Thibodaux Biddy Basketball as rivals or even teammates. They continued playing together throughout high school and developed a bond that only teammates can understand. This bond helped Genna and Jordan to lead their team to have their first undefeated district run and, of course, claim the district champs title. It’s an exciting time for the entire team, and their last few games will determine a lot about the season.
“Being our senior year, our last year, getting to go out with a bang, with the best record in school history, and undefeated in district, with the potential to make a big playoff run, it’s really awesome,” Genna says. “It’s almost hard to put into words what it feels like. You know, you always see your senior year coming—you always hope it’ll be a good one because it’s your last one. You want to remember it, so actually having that happen is awesome.”
“We made it a goal to get to state early on, and I think we have the team to do it,” she says. “We can’t just blow games off. The first night of the playoffs is still going to be a huge game. It’s going to be tough, but I think if we play to our abilities, we can make it.”
Serving as co-captains on the team, the girls have guided their team to success. But they have each accomplished a great feat—both have scored their thousandth career point this season. This is unprecedented—Genna and Jordan are the first two from the same class to accomplish this. Until just before their senior year, they were unaware of the mark they were able to reach.
“The way I found out was because I went to a basketball camp that requires statistics, so I needed to get points, and we found out from that I was 200 points away going into my senior year; so from that point on, my mom kind of kept track of that,” Genna says. “And she talked to Coach [Darrin] Fontz, and he went back and looked through all the books and counted it up. We figured out what game I hit it in.”
Genna was the first to reach the 1,000-point mark. In a home game against Country Day High School, the point guard hit a three-pointer that gave her an even 1,000. Jordan wasn’t far behind.
“Whenever Genna made her thousandth point, we figured that I’d be close—we’ve been playing the same amount of years and scoring around the same amount,” Jordan says. “So Genna’s mom got the books and counted it up for me, and we found out that I was pretty close.”
Jordan set her record at home as well. In a tough game made harder by missing players against St. James High School, Jordan scored two points to give her 1,001 points—uplifting the team to an eventual, though hard-fought, win.
At Senior Night at E. D. White, each senior basketball player, from both the boys’ and girls’ teams, gave a rose to his or her mother and a cap to his or her father on the court, thanking them for their support. The school’s 2-K teammates got a little something extra that night—the young ladies each received a commemorative basketball marking her thousandth point in front of a packed and cheering gym of parents, classmates and fans.
“We had a lot of people here, and it was an amazing feeling,” Jordan says. “The crowd was loud whenever they called our names. Having that basketball as something to even show our kids, whenever we get old … it’s a good little keepsake.”
Genna adds: “That was exciting, too, just to kind of have something to keep for a while that shows what you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished. It was really special, too, because a lot of people from the school were here—supporters, fans and everything.”
It’s interesting to note that neither girl represents the cultural paradigm of jock behavior—they are both humble and intelligent, and they have commendable ideas for their future. Jordan is quick to compliment Genna’s playing style before even discussing her own, and Genna finds it easier to acknowledge Jordan’s strengths before admitting her own.
“Jordan is the really aggressive player inside that if things aren’t working out on the perimeter, I’ll look to get her the ball because I know she can make something happen down low with it,” Genna says. “She’s not scared to go after rebounds, get on the floor for loose balls. She’s really fearless when it comes to stuff like that.”
Jordan is quick to pay back the compliment.
“Genna’s smart. She’s a true point guard—she doesn’t always look to score, she looks to pass,” she says. “She’s good inside and out—hits threes and makes post-moves every now and again. She has a very wide range of basketball skills.”
WHERE TO NEXT …
Both ladies have their sights set on becoming physical therapists or even sports trainers. It seems that the sport has prepared them for life. They both cite basketball as being a reason for sparking their interests in the field.
“I’m interested in the way the body works,” Genna says.
“One time, I had a little injury in my knee, and [the trainer] was explaining all kinds of weird stuff,” Jordan says. “That’s really where it started my interest; and ever since then, I’ve always wanted to do something like that.”
Next fall, Genna plans to attend Spring Hill College and will “possibly” play basketball while there. Jordan plans to stay a little closer to home at Nicholls initially before branching out.
LEAVING A MARK
In times of trial on and off the court, the ladies can look to each other for support. And they often do. For the team to function as a cohesive unit, mutual trust is vital—their bond in life, not just in basketball, is strong. The ladies’ support isn’t just mutual, it’s shared by the entire team, with most of the Lady Cardinals sporting “2-K” bracelets to show their support for Jordan and Genna, with some opting out for superstitious reasons. Why mess with a good thing, right?
“My team is that one group of people that I know I can trust and go to,” Genna says. “They always have my back, and I always have theirs. As a team, that’s how it has to be, whether you’re on the court or off the court, because that’s how you build trust; and, eventually, that’s how you bond and that’s how you play together as a team. They are very close to my heart—they’re very important to me.”
Jordan and Genna had dreams of leaving their mark in their earlier years at E. D. White, and they eventually realized their dreams—learning a lot about themselves, the sport and life along the way. For them, basketball is an outlet, a way to relieve stress, a place to give their everything and—though the humble ladies would never admit it—a way to excel. Scoring now over 2,000 points collectively is a great mark of accomplishment.
“It feels amazing. We would always talk about it when we were younger,” Jordan says. “Whenever [2011 E. D. White graduate and former basketball player] Lauren Bayhi made her thousandth point, people were asking us if we ever thought we’d make it—and I honestly never thought I would, because we didn’t know how close we were. And it feels good to have made it with my best friend, too.”