The Student News Site of East Grand Rapids High School

The East Vision

Siblings slay: Ivy’s ball

Niki Ezeh, Staff Writer

An 8-year-old Micki Ivy ‘18 was new to the basketball court.

In her purple Lady Sparks basketball team jersey, Micki felt surrounded by things she didn’t quite get. The confusion was written all over her face as she stepped on the court in her first game, unable to understand the basics.

After countless times of dribbling the ball off of her foot and missing her left-handed layups, Micki was enraged and insisted on coming out of the game. Her eyes began to water and her mouth began to frown. When the final buzzer in the fourth quarter went off, Micki raced off the court and threw off her shoes, certain that she would never put them on again.

It was her older brother Jordan Ivy ‘17 who was there to pick up her shoes and put them back into her bag, kneel down next to her, and tell her that she had potential, and Ivy’s don’t let that go to waste.

¨When I was younger, I was contemplating quitting basketball, but it was my brother that told me that I had the talent to be on the court and be a great basketball player,¨ Micki said.

Jordan helped pick Micki up that day, and has been doing it every day since.

The Ivy’s have been involved in basketball since the third grade.

She has the height, he has the speed. She has the hook shot, and he has the threes.

Micki and Jordan aren’t your average brother and sister, they are a basketball duo that pushes each other on and off the court.

After Micki’s rough first game, the siblings started to play and train together, and pushed each other to improve their skills. It became something the two could bond over, and brought them closer together as brother and sister.

“It is a blessing to have watched her play over the years and to have something common with her,” Jordan said.

Both Micki and Jordan aim to play basketball at the collegiate level, so with their father’s knowledge on what it takes to make it there because of his college basketball experience, they do a lot outside of practice in the regular season to ensure that they are playing at a high caliber.

“Our dad has helped us develop all of our skills and he is the main person training us outside of our coaches,” Micki said. “He knew it would probably be tough to be our coach, so he took the motivation to make us great and decided to train us and he is the reason we are the players we are today.”

One practice a day is not enough for the Ivys. Averaging around eight hours of training outside of the practices held through their school teams per week, Micki and Jordan represent the epitome of a family grind.

After practices and on the weekends, the two come together to train with their father, doing everything from conditioning, to shooting, to ball handling. High school basketball practices can be gruesome at some points, but having each other to lean on during the trainings where you would much rather quit and go to sleep makes it easier.

However, don’t mistake their relationship as all fun and games. Micki and Jordan are huge competitors on the court, and it starts with them being the most competitive with each other.

¨Every training usually ends with us playing one on one,¨ Micki said.

Sweat, tears, bragging rights, and slushies have been the results of the infinite amount of one on one battles. The two will compete until the last basket goes in the hoop, because there is always something on the line.

These games are great for giving Micki and Jordan something to do together in their free time, but by doing so, they are also helping each other get better- a main goal of theirs.

“Pushing each other is a huge way we help each other improve. We talk smack to each other and that motivates us to prove one another wrong about what they are saying and show each other that we actually are great players so, ironically, him teasing me and saying that I am not good at basketball makes me want to be even better at basketball.”

Their competitiveness translates to during basketball season at school.The siblings compete who can perform the best throughout the year, with incentives to help them do so.

“We compete to see who has a better record over the season and who has the better stats as well.” Jordan said.

¨Right now, we’re doing a competition on who can get the most double-doubles and a triple-double by the end of the season, and the winner gets a prize from my dad,¨ Micki said.

Micki was once worried about the big shoes she had to fill in the world of basketball, coming after Jordan, who had always been an excellent player. She seems to be settling into them nicely, as both Micki and Jordan have been key members of the East Varsity Basketball program since their freshman years. The South Christian game was a key game for Micki this season, and she finished with 12 points, six rebounds, three steals, and five blocks. Jordan has also has found success this year, especially in the Forest Hills Central game, where he ended  with 16 points, seven assists, and three rebounds.

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