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Family, face paint guide Lockwood’s Dani Jordan to spirited success

Jordan Family
Dani Jordan
Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 19, 2024

BILLINGS — Dani Jordan has always found joy in showcasing school spirit. Face paint, check. Giant foam finger, check. Fashionable tutu, check.

But the last few years she's leaned on the spirit of her late mother Rayetta, along with close family members, for strength and guidance.

“It definitely was more quick than we expected," Jordan recently explained to MTN Sports, recalling Rayetta’s sudden bout with ovarian cancer. "She got diagnosed August 2 of 2017, and then she passed away January 27 of 2018.

"It was a really scary change because she was, like ... the butter to our family and losing her was really hard.”

Jordan Family

Dani says her mother’s loss quickly tightened family ties that were already strong. Living in Colstrip, she leaned on her grandparents, her dad and two older sisters Jessi and Shelby.

Jordan Family

“Our mom, she was everything," Shelby said. "But now, I’ve got to give a shout out to my dad because he’s a single widowed parent taking care of three girls. He does a lot for us and he’s always here for Dani and doesn’t miss a game.”

Shelby is now a student at MSUB while Jessi is pursuing cosmetology school.

Dani smiles when recalling how full of spirit she was supporting both sisters as a young girl.

"I was their biggest supporter," she proudly admits. "My dad would always put face paint on me whenever they would play at the Metra, or state tournaments. I made the news a couple of times for my face paint.”

Dani Jordan Face Paint

“She would cover her whole face in green and black for Colstrip and she would wear her tutu," Shelby said, grinning with cherished memories. "She would always be on the sideline; she’d make up her own cheers.”

Dani's active personality hardly stopped there. She learned early to hunt with her family and still loves the outdoors.

“She shot a deer when she was like, 13-14 (years old)," Shelby recalled. "We like to do a lot of outdoor things, and she’s the one that keeps us mainly busy.”

Dani Jordan Hunting

Since transferring from Colstrip to Lockwood two years ago, Dani has flourished, turning into one of the state’s top high school players. Head coach Rob Tedlund simply calls her "a coach’s dream.”

Jordan leads Montana's Class A girls in scoring this season averaging nearly 20 points a game. She recently dropped 38 in a win over Laurel — second-highest output ever in a Lockwood boys or girls game, according to Tedlund. She also leads the Lions in rebounding as they bounce into this week's Eastern A Divisional at First Interstate Arena as a No. 2 seed opening against Fergus Thursday at 8 p.m.

Tedlund's list doesn't stop there.

“I mean, she’s a 4.0-type kid," he continued. "We do a Warrior Award every summer for the kid who works the hardest in the weight room and on the court — because that’s the stuff people don’t see — and she got it this summer.”

Once summer wrapped up, Jordan excelled at volleyball earning all-state honors, while at the same time running cross country for the Lions. Naturally, her family fan section was right there enjoying every step, every spike, and now every dribble.

“When I look in the stands," she said, "I can always know that they’re going to be there."

And when Dani looks to the sky, she knows mom is there, too.