T.J. Ford, Jr., son of local basketball legend, commits to UIW

Ridge Point point guard T.J. Ford, Jr., the son of 2001 Willowridge McDonald’s All-American and 2003 Texas Longhorns 1st Team All-American T.J. Ford, committed to play basketball at the University of the Incarnate Word this past weekend.

Ford, Jr. averaged double digits in scoring the past couple of seasons at Ridge Point, as the Panthers’ starting point guard.

“When I went on the visit, I liked the city and the coaches,” said Ford, Jr. “The people were good to me,” said Ford, Jr.

“It was unbelievable,” said Ford, Sr. “We’ve been going through this whole basketball youth sports thing together since he was 8 years old, and for him to still be in the state of Texas is a blessing for me.”

247 Sports rates Ford, Jr. as the #46 prospect in the state of Texas for the Class of 2023. The younger Ford has had to find his own way to play Division I ball but still appreciates what he’s been able to learn from his dad.

“Being able to practice with top guys (at the T.J. Ford Basketball Academy), the older guys, college guys, pro guys and being able to work is a blessing,” said Ford, Jr.

“He had a longer road, but he had the right mentality and the right mindset,” said Ford, Sr. “He was able to perform at the highest level and catch the eye of some coaches, which is what he was able to do with UIW.”

The Cardinals are coming off a 12-19 season with a 6-12 record in conference play. UIW enters 2023-24 with a new head coach in Shane Heirman, who comes from Central Michigan, where he was an assistant.

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