Dozens gather to remember Lawrence teen who drowned at Clinton Lake


LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – A memorial service brought dozens of kids together Tuesday to remember and process the death of a Lawrence teen who drowned last week.

Jayion Harris-Jordan drowned in Clinton Lake while he was swimming with his family on July 19.

Tuesday, a memorial was held, but it was not a typical memorial.

Dozens of basketball players spent the day at a Call to Greatness camp dedicated to Jayion. His friends and coaches told KSNT’s Kelly Saberi about how his death will impact them moving forward.

“You’re going to win games and lose games but then what happens when you experience someone’s life, basketball can help you experience just a little bit of that,” said Jesse Brinson, with Call to Greatness.

The memorial was aimed to help those who knew Jayion remember him and process his death.

Jayion’s mother, Jalisa Jordan, recalled the tragic story of Jayion’s drowning.

“I remember every single detail, my baby, I couldn’t even see him he was under the water,” Jordan said. “All I saw was his hand floating backward and somehow in that hysteria, I turned around and there are my babies up on the rock and I couldn’t do that to them no matter how hard this was.”

She and her children were swimming at the Clinton Lake spillway when Jayion went under the water. She had to make the impossible choice whether or not to attempt to rescue him, and as she did not know how to swim, she decided that her children could not watch both their brother and mother drown.

“If I’m selfish for that, my son would have wanted me to be selfish for that because he loved his brothers,” Jordan said.

While she is staying calm, she said that one of her sons is taking it hard.

“He felt like it was his fault because he was holding on to Jayions hand and he said ‘Mama I think he saved my life because he let my hand go’,” she said.

At the memorial, basketball was used to help those struggling with the loss process more.

“This is kind of like what basketball was trying to show you, not to forget, but how do we handle that trauma,” said Brinson.

His funeral will be held Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at the Christ Community Church. Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

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