Jordan Gombs knew he was going to be a college athlete.
And he knew he was going to go to Delaware Valley University.
He just didn’t know what he was going to do.
Gombs is a recent graduate of New Foundations Charter, and during the fall, he’s a star football player. But since his school didn’t have a football team, the Mayfair native was allowed to play for his neighborhood school, which was Abraham Lincoln.
It was a perfect fit.
Gombs was able to make a whole new group of friends while starring at defensive end and wide receiver.
It was a great combination, and he turned a few heads because of it.
“Not too many people do that,” Gombs said of playing receiver and defensive line. “I loved playing at Lincoln. They took me right in, and I had friends there. I became very close with them, and we played pretty well. I thought football was my future.
“When I first started thinking about going to Delaware Valley, I was sure I was going to play football. I love football and was happy doing that. But then …”
Then came basketball season.
And Gombs, playing for his home school, became one of the top players in the area as he helped the Bulldogs finish 14-13, including a 5-6 record in the Penn-Jersey Athletic League.
Gombs ended up scoring more than 1,300 career points, which was good for No. 2 all time in school history.
The great basketball season made Gombs change his mind and next year, he’ll be playing basketball at DelVal.
“I had a really good basketball season, and then when I went to visit, I had a great talk and I decided I’d play basketball instead,” said Gombs, who also played baseball in high school. “I love both sports. It was a tough decision, but I think basketball might be my favorite. I think I’ll love it there.
“I loved the school. It had a real family atmosphere. It was a lot like New Foundations. That was really important to me. I know I’ll be happy there.”
It’s no surprise that a family feel is big for Gombs.
It’s exactly what he gets at home, and he really wants that in college. Since DelVal is in Doylestown, he won’t have far to go to come back home, but he would love to have that same kind of environment at his school.
“My biggest motivation would be something I learned from my mom and that was to always have my ‘why’ for whatever I’m doing,” Gombs said. “And my ‘why’ is knowing that I have many people behind me that want to see me do great things, and I can’t just give up when things get rough so that keeps me going when I’m having doubts.
“I’m lucky to get a lot of support at home. My mom comes to games. She makes me a better person. She’s strict, but if I do things the right way, she gets really proud. I like it when she’s proud, it lets me know I’m doing things right.”
Gombs is happy where he’s at. But he’s far from satisfied.
Because of the quarantine, Gombs hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to work out on the court, but he’s always working to get faster and stronger. And he knows he has to continue to do that if he wants to succeed in college.
Last year, Gombs spent a lot of time under the basket because he was one of the taller players on the Bulldogs and he excelled in the position, but it’s not what he loves best.
He prefers playing the wing. He loves point guard, shooting guard and small forward, his natural position. In college basketball, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete will probably see more time at wing, and that could mean even bigger things.
“I will play anywhere they want,” Gombs said. “I’ve always been ready to play anywhere the team needs me. But if you ask me my favorite position, I like playing the wing. Small forward. And any guard spot works. But if I can play, I’ll play anywhere.”
He’ll also help anyone who needs it.
He hasn’t done it in a few months because everything has been shut down, but when everything is going, Gombs goes out of his way to help younger athletes. He loves giving back, and sports is a great way to do it.
“I do a lot of volunteering, like I do the clock at Rhawnhurst games or I’ll help out with MVP360, I just help kids there with basketball,” Gombs said. “I love helping out. I like letting kids know that they can have a great time playing sports. I’ll let them know how much sports helped me.
“I think someday, maybe, I’d like to coach. I haven’t thought about it much, but I really like helping kids. I like seeing them get better.”
He hopes he continues to get better, too.
For now, Gombs is concentrating on basketball, and he fully intends on playing hoops the entire time he’s at DelVal. But will there be other sports, maybe?
“I know freshman year I’m just going to play basketball, see how that goes,” said Gombs, who hopes to become a sports psychologist. “But I could always play football. I love both sports. For now, I’ll say no, but we’ll see what happens.”