Christian Mordi was recently appointed as the head coach for girls’ varsity basketball at The Patrick School.
Most people know Coach Mordi from his extensive media background. A few years ago he started a media outlet famously known as @TheDribbledrop, which promotes girls’ basketball players. On Twitter he has over 1,000 followers and on Instagram he has over 3,000. However, his notoriety spreads far beyond those social media followers.
Coach Mordi shared, “I’ve done interviews and highlight reels on rising players across the nation. All content on my page is curated by me. I am a part of a media network with my best friend who created @NJHoopRecruit.”
Last winter Mordi held a tournament at Kennedy High School named, “Basketball Needs New Jersey.” Some of the top teams competed, including Blair Academy, Saint John Vianney, University High School, Saddle River Day, and Franklin High School. He put this event together to bring more awareness to some of the top girls’ basketball players in New Jersey.
His media training started back in college. “I used to be an editor at SLAM Magazine. While there, I did a lot of stuff on the girls’ side at the collegiate and WNBA levels. I’ve interviewed Sue Bird, Tina Thompson, Tina Charles, Kayla McBride, Cappie Pondexter, and many more. I also cut my teeth hosting the SLAM Radioshow,” explained Coach Mordi.
When asked what the most fascinating thing he learned while interviewing professional players Mordi stated, “I’ve interviewed a lot of cool people and there’s so many things I could discuss. One thing that I love is how passionate the players are to their fan base. Many great players take time after every game to come out and take pictures or sign balls for kids. They are all heavily invested in the basketball culture and giving back. The players sacrifice a lot in regards to amenities to play in the states. The grind it takes on their bodies to complete is a lot, but when you combine that with poor travel transportation and accommodations, it is very hard. It needs to be better.” Learning the struggles professional female athletes experience has motivated Coach Mordi to bring more awareness to girls’ basketball. Foe example, by promoting players over social media and by hosting events where players can showcase their talents against each other.
When asked what advice he would offer to someone trying to break into the media world Mordi said, “Don’t be Hollywood. Take pride in every interview, and every show, and/or every game you cover. You never know who you will meet and who will read your article. Don’t assume that just because you meet someone in a smaller event that they will stay in that space forever. Little dogs become big dogs. Remain humble, respect everyone, and put in the work and you will grow.”
In high school Mordi played for Montclair and was the captain his senior year. He shared, “Being part of a team that won back to back league titles in high school was pretty cool. We beat teams like Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco, St. Joes in Montvale, and more.” He considers his coaches and mentors, Major Jennings and Bobby “Smooth” Hurt, his “brothers for life.”
Coach Mordi’s coaching career started at Montclair as an assistant coach under Coach Hurt. From there he became a special assistant at Kean University. He said, “I learned how to edit film and structure practice on the collegiate level. I then went on to coach at Christ The King High School in Newark for 3 years alongside my friend Cecil Stinson. During the summers I coached 17u for the Hilltopper Heat. Last year, I went to coach as an assistant coach at Centenary College. I also coached 17u for Nike NYC Exodus this summer.”
Coach Mordi explained that his coaching philosophy is, “very similar to my good friend Cecil’s. I get my players to play hard, smart, and together. I believe that is the staple of a great program. I always say, ‘do the right things, the right way, all the time.’ Great teams have a blend of talent with a great appreciation to detail. They enjoy the process of preparation everyday.”
In order to play for Coach Mordi players need to, “come prepared to work everyday. I think a lot of time people are so focused on the final outcome that they don’t embrace/appreciate the journey to get there. You must trust the process and embrace the work that comes in it,” he said. He also said, “Basketball is a game of runs. So many are so quick to embrace the highs but avoid the lows in games and it shows. The tougher moments, when things aren’t going your way, is when your true character shows. Remain mentally tough and you will see success over the course of time. “
Coach Mordi elaborated by saying, “Keep an open mind in workouts. Every day I will challenge my players mentally and physically. I hope they challenge me as well. I want to be the best and coach the best. For us to get there together we must grow together. Sometimes in may be uncomfortable, but that’s a part of life.”
Defense is also a major component of his coaching style. Mordi said, “Defend as hard as you possibly can. You don’t have to be the best athlete in the world to defend at a high level, but your technique and motor must be there everyday. Defensively, you not only play for yourself, but for your teammates. You must give all you have to the team.”
His goals for The Patrick School are to, “prepare my players for the collegiate atmosphere. From a practice perspective, we will have structure in everything, just like we did at the school I recently coached. This includes detailed scouting reports, lots of skill development, etc. Academically, I want to prepare my players for success in the classroom as well. I will do this by tutoring, helping my players get internships, etc.”
Coach Mordi also said, “I want to thank Coach Chavennes at The Patrick School and the The Patrick School family for welcoming me in with open arms. I also want to thank my coaching mentors Major Jennings, Stephen Wyatt, Devin Pitts and last, but not least, Robert ‘Smooth’ Hurt.”