Fayette County

Former Henry Clay basketball standout drowns in Tennessee lake

Henry Clay's Jordan Houston (44) shot in the lane over Dunbar's Dontell Brown (4), during the semifinals of the boys 11th Region tournament March 5, 2016, at EKU's McBrayer Arena in Richmond.  Houston drowned in a Tennessee lake Monday afternoon.
Henry Clay's Jordan Houston (44) shot in the lane over Dunbar's Dontell Brown (4), during the semifinals of the boys 11th Region tournament March 5, 2016, at EKU's McBrayer Arena in Richmond. Houston drowned in a Tennessee lake Monday afternoon.

A 20-year-old former basketball player at Henry Clay High School and Asbury University, drowned Monday in Norris Lake in Campbell County, Tennessee, according to the county's sheriff's office.

Jordan Houston was with his girlfriend's family swimming at the back of the boat around 1:30 p.m. Monday when he went under water and did not come back up, Lt. John Long said.

The area where Houston was swimming is a popular area in the lake where boats congregate and people swim, Long said. The water is around 75 to 80 feet deep, Long added.

The LaFollette Rescue Squad found the swimmer's body within an hour, Long said.

"Because there is a heavy current here, we have had drowning victims this time of year that don't come up for weeks," Long said. "It's fortunate they got him out as quickly as they did."

His body was taken to LaFollette Medical Center for an autopsy. Long said it is standard procedure to do autopsies on drowning victims.

Foul play is not suspected in the drowning, according to Long.

Houston is a 2016 graduate at Henry Clay, where he helped the Blue Devils to the 2015-16 42nd District championship with his 6-foot-4 frame.

Henry Clay's coach, Daniel Brown, said Houston was the "ultimate teammate and a great individual."

"The Henry Clay family is saddened and hurt," he added. "Jordan will be missed and our prayers go out to his family."

After graduating high school, Houston attended Asbury University, where he played on the basketball team for one season. He did not attend the university during the 2017-18 school year, a university spokesperson said.

His former Asbury college coach, Will Shouse, said on Twitter Monday night that he's "praying for the family of former @AsburyHoops player @Jhouston32. So very sad."

Asbury President Dr. Sandra Gray released a statement Tuesday: "Our hearts are deeply saddened as we grieve with Jordan's family and friends, and we pray that the love and peace of Jesus will surround them during this time."

Friends took to social media Monday night and Tuesday morning to share their condolences. Niesha Downey said Houston was "one of the most well mannered, respectful kids" she's ever met. His barber, Quinton Turner Sr., said "every time he came in the shop he was respectable & well mannered."

One of his former teachers at Edythe Jones Hayes Middle School, Jessica Zaker, said Houston was "one of those kids who could brighten the room with his smile."

"He could also drive me up the wall, but then instantly change the mood with his goofy laugh," Zaker added in her Facebook post. "He was sweet, caring and incredibly polite."

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