Aaron Jordan has lived in Illinois almost his whole life.
Followed Illinois basketball nearly as long.
So when the Plainfield East shooting guard and Class of 2015 prospect from Bolingbrook received a phone call from John Groce two weeks ago, Jordan — who stays in contact most with Illinois assistant coach Dustin Ford — had a good idea of what to expect.
“It was overwhelming, but Coach Ford just kept telling me to wait and that Coach Groce really likes me,” Jordan said. “When he called, I had that gut feeling.”
A gut feeling of a scholarship offer.
Which Groce soon told the talented scorer from the western Chicago suburbs he had.
Illinois is one of nine offers the 6-foot-4, 170-pound Jordan has attached to his name now.
The number has doubled since mid-May after a strong AAU showing for Jordan, who played with the Illinois Celtics and Illinois Stars.
Along with Illinois, Wisconsin is another Big Ten school that has offered Jordan in the past month.
Illinois-Chicago and San Jose State are two other schools that have extended a scholarship offer to Jordan recently, with Creighton, Fairfield, Hampton, Illinois State and Valparaiso giving Jordan scholarship offers earlier in the process.
Illinois should have as many as five available scholarships for players in the Class of 2015.
Jordan said Illinois is near the top of his list. So far.
He hasn’t given much thought if he’ll trim his list of suitors just yet, but said he’d like to make a decision shortly after his junior season at Plainfield East ends.
“I like the coaching staff, and I like Coach Groce,” said Jordan, who averaged 16 points last season at Plainfield East, shot 47 percent from the field, 48 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the free throw line. “They have a good program, and it’s Illinois. Coach Ford and I talk often. He’s sending me texts about their program, how many fans are at their games and what it’s like playing in the Big Ten.”
Jordan said he doesn’t try to emulate his game after any player in particular, but is a big Kevin Durant fan.
“I like the way he scores the basketball and how he is a guy who leads his team,” Jordan said.
And he’s trying not to let the recruiting process distract him from having a productive junior campaign at Plainfield East, which could elevate his recruitment even more.
“It’s a very exciting process,” Jordan said. “I’m new to it, but my dad, my AAU coach and my high school coach said as long as you’re going through recruiting, you should have fun with it, and I’m having fun with it. I didn’t expect all these offers to happen, but now that it has happened, I just keep wanting more.”