A player can often learn more about their resolve and their game when up against adversity.
“The toughest part of the European Championships was starting group play 0-3, which meant we [England U18s] couldn’t reach our goal of promotion,” said Zion Tordoff, who has joined the Lancashire Spinners for his first full season. “We knew we couldn’t lose another game after that so we battled even harder.”
And that in turn led to a complete sense of accomplishment for Tordoff, his tournament high 16 points, and the England squad as they ran off five-straight wins to finish ninth.
“We left everything out on the floor after being down by 13 points at halftime,” he said.
The 17-year-old in his first-ever international competition averaged 8.8 points and three rebounds in eight games whilst shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 63.2 at the free throw line.
He finished in double-figures scoring in four games and led the team with 15 points in a classification stage win over Iceland.
“I’ve learnt that I could play consistently through tough and competitive games day after day – it’s given me great insight as a measuring tool to see where I’m at as a player,” Tordoff said. “Right now I’m not content with where I am whatsoever, so I’m going to be working on every part of my game.”
Tordoff showed in 15 games with the Spinners last season that he can be a level player both offensively and on the glass, contributing just over 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in a limited role.
Though against Kent in March he set season highs of 11 points and six rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
“Impactful games,” Tordoff began, “especially in ‘backs against the wall’ situations, builds my confidence and I can recall on those moments coming into the new season.”