Jordan opening some eyes
Plainfield East is a relatively new school.
The suburban Chicago high school of 1,860 students opened in 2009.
Walking the hallways now is easily the most highly-regarded Division I basketball prospect in the school’s brief history.
The good news for Plainfield East coach Branden Adkins and any fan of the Bengals is that Aaron Jordan still has two years of eligibility left.
The class of 2015 guard was on an unofficial visit to Illinois last week and has seen more high-major programs take an interest in his talents.
He does not have a scholarship offer yet from Illinois, but don’t rule out the possibility of that happening.
“It’s really kind of taken off in the last month or so,” Adkins said. “He had a really good AAU tournament in Pittsburgh and Louisville (in April). He’s showing the ability to score and is taking people off the dribble more. It’s just going to keep sky-rocketing. There’s going to be a high demand for Aaron. He was a nice secret for us last year. That has kind of dropped.”
Jordan, a 6-foot-3-inch combo guard, averaged 16 points last season for the Bengals and shot 47 percent from the field, 48 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line.
“He has a fantastic offensive game,” Adkins said. “His predominant position is shooting guard. Last year we had him playing a little bit of both shooting guard and point. We had a different team than the year before, and with a lack of seniors and so forth, we had to find a way to get the ball in his hands. He’s really focused on getting stronger and being able to finish at the rim.”
Jordan plays AAU basketball with the 16-and-under Illinois Celtics, which features prospects like forward Joseph Toye of Chicago Whitney Young, forward Myles Carter of Chicago St. Rita and Nazareth Academy center Tyler Jackson, among others.
So far Jordan has scholarship offers from Creighton, Fairfield, Hampton, Illinois State and Valparaiso.
Adkins said Illinois assistant coach Dustin Ford made contact at the start of 2013, and John Groce is interested in watching Jordan more throughout his high school career.
“He loves the style of basketball (Illinois) plays,” Adkins said. “He loves the excitement of Coach Groce and his staff. He was really in awe of the entire treatment during his visit. His dad felt like they rolled out the red carpet. That’s the kind of atmosphere Aaron wants to be in. What you see on TV and hear about with Coach Groce is what you get.”
Adkins doesn’t anticipate Jordan making a college decision until further into his junior year.
“I think it’s going to be a while,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to be at the end of his senior year or anything like that. He’s got a lot of fondness towards this state, and it allows his family to watch him play live, but that’s not to say he’s not interested or has had great conversations with other schools as well.”
Adkins already has one of his former players playing Division I basketball in forward Brian Bennett at Cal Poly.
But Bennett’s recruitment didn’t get the type of attention that Jordan’s most likely will.
“Brian got a lot of interest, but not as much as Aaron has,” Adkins said. “For us, it’s a little unique. We had a really good year a couple years ago (with a 27-2 record). Instead of being a one-hit wonder, want to be a program that’s known for some consistency and success, and Aaron has achieved a lot already.”