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Veteran wins Fort Wayne’s Favorite male basketball poll

Walter Jordan. (Courtesy photo)

With a rally over the last two days of voting, former Northrop, Purdue and NBA star Walter Jordan has won the voting for News-Sentinel.com’s Fort Wayne’s Favorite male basketball player. Jordan came back with 28 percent of the vote to sprint past former Homestead, Purdue and NBA star Caleb Swanigan who led the voting 23-21 percent on Friday.

After helping Northrop win the 1974 state title (Fort Wayne’s last in the single-class era of high school basketball), Jordan went to Purdue where he grew into a 6-8 forward and averaged 14 points a game as a freshman and teamed with Fort Wayne’s Eugene Parker to lead the Boilers to a 21-9 record. As his scoring average increased to 18.8 points as a junior and 17.0 as a senior, Jordan was twice named All-Big Ten and Purdue’s Most Valuable Player. He also won a gold medal at the 1977 World University Games. By the time he graduated, Jordan was the fourth-leading scorer in Purdue history with 1,813 points and third all-time with 882 rebounds.

Swanigan, who currently plays with the Portland Trailblazers, finished with 19 percent of the vote. Bishop Luers start DeShaun Thomas finished third with 13 percent while Kendallville’s Brad Miller, a former NBA All-Star, finished with 10 percent and former Concordia and Purdue star Eugene Parker was fifth with 8 percent.

This completes the seven-week series for individual sports. The entire series will finish this week with a tournament of champions poll to select Fort Wayne’s all-time favorite athlete.

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