Ford driving Knights to success

Ford taking on a LaSalle Explorer

Anissa Gardizy

Ford taking on a LaSalle Explorer

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TOWAMENCIN- Getting Basketball gear for Christmas every year and being inspired by his favorite movies Like Mike and Love of Basketball, Lance Ford, captain of the North Penn Men’s basketball team, knew this was the sport for him. Being the player he is and the point guard this year, many of his fans would not know Ford’s instability with playing on a basketball team and his life outside of the game he loves.

“Lance is a big, strong, versatile player, either inside the post or out on the perimeter. Already this year he has played four different positions for us. Lance has good court awareness and vision, and is constantly looking to make the extra pass,” said Coach Conrad, Head Coach of the basketball team.

Ford found himself at a new position this year. He recently was moved to point guard for this year. Being a forward last year, that’s a big step. Ford feels he will need to be a good leader and step up.

“I have to keep my teammates involved, but I still have to get as many points as I can. I’m not being cocky, but that’s just what the position holds,” said Ford.

From this year to last year Ford feels he has grown as a player. He had a few accomplishments last year, like making 3rd team for SOL, but other than that he felt as a team they only did okay ending their season with a rough loss in playoffs. Going into playoffs the team had a slow start and with an 11-11 record, the team only picked up towards the end of the season.  He feels they will need to improve chemistry and sticking together when things get tough. As a captain, Ford plans to work on this with his teammates.

“Leading the team starts with the little things [that reveal themselves at] practice: showing my leadership, listening to the coach, and doing every drill 100 percent. The days that I’m not 100 percent I am still vocal. Recently at the last game I was a little late to practice, and I didn’t start against CB West. Then I came in and played a big role and helped us get the win last Friday,” said Ford.

Ford has found himself always studying the game of basketball. His knowledge of the game allows him to be a versatile player on the court. He continues to improve on this skill to work on his leadership skills.

“Lance works extremely  hard on the mental aspect of the game. He knows all of our sets and plays from for different positions, and that gives the coaching staff tremendous flexibility with how we use him. He is very good at in-game adjustments,” said Coach Conrad.

Anissa Gardizy
Ford making a shot for the Knights

Taking accountability to be the leader of the team, he tries to make every game a win and to be the coach on the floor. His teammates see that on and off the court.

“Lance is a great leader and gives good advice to people for the long run. He will never lie to you about how you’re playing or acting. He’s always straightforward, which can be best for some people,” said teammate and close friend Ricky Johns.

Being the successful player he is today, it’s hard to believe he was cut from the team in sophomore year. Ford, having moved from school to school throughout his childhood, has not really been on a stable basketball team since 7th grade. He never really had the opportunities in the other schools that he has at North Penn. He appreciates his mom, who he calls his number one fan, being by his side for all 18 years and putting him in the best position for success.

“My mom just wanted the best for me so we moved to different areas. We started out in a community in Pennland, a place somewhere in Blue Bell. The we moved to Cheltenham, but she wanted to get out of that area because it wasn’t such a good area. Then we moved  up here because Ricky is like my family, so he told me about this area and how it’s a good place,” explained Ford.

After this setback and having to humble himself, Ford came back his junior year stronger and better. He eventually got a starting position, made all league, and received much deserved recognition. Knowing he was in a stable place now, hard work was now vital to have a successful senior year.

“Over the summer I was either in the gym or outside shooting shots. I have the privilege to work with my cousin, who plays D1 basketball at Tennessee State. Working out with him, he has taught me how to study and learn the game,” said Ford.

Anissa Gardizy
Ford taking control of the ball

Ford goes out trying to give 110 percent  every time he’s on the court. On each of his arms he has the words “hard work” tattooed on and that is something he lives by. Nothing will stop him from working. Even with a slightly pulled groin injury he still played his hardest in the game against CB West, knowing it would be a tough win, and he received a MVP award.

“Lance is very laid back and easy going. He is a quiet leader providing a sense and feeling of calmness, when things get hectic during games. At times we’ve had to get after him to work harder physically, and his response to criticism and feedback has been good,” said Coach Conrad.

With all this hard work Ford finds many to be curious of his college plans. He is keeping his options open and leaving it all to God. Working hard everyday in hopes to get a scholarship somewhere, Ford feels that is all he can do. He has plans to go to college, but if he doesn’t play basketball he has a plan to go to California and produce music with some famous friends of his.

Having a friend famous in the music industry, Ford has a passion for music outside of basketball. His friends, Tunji Ige and Teo Pasquale got him more heavily interested in music. He is into almost all genres of music, and he feels that music clears people’s mind and lets them be creative. Making beats and listening to the different sounds, Ford enjoys this part of his life because he feels music touches a lot of the world.

“Everyday I work hard in school and in basketball. A lot of people have doubted me and said I wouldn’t do this and that. I just always keep my ego and give thanks to God everyday he wakes me up, so I can be a better person to my family, friends, and teammates,” said Ford.