Jordan Farmar's father was a Major League Baseball player and a star football player who turned down an offer by USC, and his Godfather is MLB great Eric Davis. But despite the baseball and football pedigree, Jordan found his calling to be basketball.
Gonzaga has taken a keen interest in Farmar and with good reason. The following is what Greg Hicks of Prepwesthoops.com had to say about Farmar's game:
"For a young rising junior (he won't turn 16 until late November), Farmar's feel for the game is astonishing. He's blessed with great instincts and he's a step ahead of everyone on the court. He also moves extremely well without the ball. But what separates Farmar from other PGs is the fact that he combines that feel for the game with a great outside shot. In the last couple weeks, we've probably seen him play in ten games and he's shooting well over 50% from three-point range."
Zags Hoops found Jordan to be an extremely polite, cordial and articulate young man. He was kind enough to take time and answer a few questions.
ZH: Where were you born and raised, and when did you first start playing basketball? Did you know hoops was your calling from the beginning, or did it take a few years?
JF: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I first started playing basketball when I was four years old at a local YMCA. I knew that basketball was the sport for me right from the start, and since that first day I have never looked back.
ZH: Your father Damon Farmar was a Major League Baseball player and a star football player. How has he impacted your sports career and what other people have been major influences in your life in general?
JF: My father's experience at the professional level is a big help in my growth and development as a student-athlete. He has already done all of the things that I am going through at this point in my life. My godfather Eric Davis has also helped to keep me grounded. Everytime we talk he reminds me how much harder I need to work to advance to the next level. All of the hard work and dedication that we emphasize on basketball also applies to anything that I want to accomplish in life. My mother is very influential to me in terms of staying grounded and always keeping the "big picture" in mind.
ZH: You're 15 and about to enter your junior year in high school. What happened and do you feel that it's a disadvantage to be so young for your grade? Also, have you thought about redshirting a year in college to make up for it?
JF: The reason I am so young for my grade is due to the fact that I started school earlier than most kids do. I don't feel that it is a disadvantage to me because it has really helped me mature on and off of the court. I don't feel that it is a disadvantage so I have not thought about redshirting a year in college. I really want to play my first year out of high school and I don't think that my age will prohibit me from doing so.
ZH: When you transferred to Taft High School you had to sit out a year, but exploded onto high majors' radars this summer. Were you expecting going from nearly anonymous to such a sought-after prospect?
JF: Well, I worked very hard in the summer from my freshman to sophomore year, and I was anxious to show my skills during my sophomore season. When I found out that I wouldn't be able to play in my sophomore season I really wanted to be the best and I knew I had to make up for lost time. I was practicing with Taft, but not participating in competition, so I always knew what I was capable of and it was just a matter of when everyone else would find out about me. It happened to be this summer and it has been a great and rewarding experience showing that hardwork pays off. Now I will continue to work hard so I can keep improving my game and my stock.
ZH: What are your strengths on the court? What is your favorite way to score, and why?
JF: My strengths are my shooting and my feel for the game. I can see things unfold on the court and that is a big advantage. I don't like to force scoring unless it is necessary. I try to take what the defense gives me. If they are in a zone or playing loosely I will take advantage of that with my jumpshot. If they are playing tight or trapping, then I will try to beat them with the dribble to create number advantages for my team.
ZH: What do you consider to be the areas you need to work on the most at this time?
JF: I really need to work on getting physically stronger and I need to work on playing hard all the time on the defensive end. If I am not challenged, I tend to relax until things get tense. I need to work on that.
ZH: It is early in your recruiting process but what schools are expressing interest in you, and can you name a top-5 list at this point?
JF: Well, most of the schools in the Pac-10, WCC and Big Sky Conference, along with Kansas, have shown interest, but it is too early to name a top-5.
ZH: What things are most important to you in selecting a college?
JF: The most important things in selecting a college are of course the basketball program and how the school will help me with life after basketball. Another key factor is how I fit at the school, which I will determine when I take my visits.
ZH: What do you know about Gonzaga? Does Gonzaga's style of play fit your style of play?
JF: I know that Gonzaga has made it to the Sweet Sixteen two of the past three years, and that they went to the Elite Eight before that. I like Gonzaga's style of play, and I can see myself fitting in that system.
ZH: Did you watch Dan Dickau, and if so, what did you think? Tell us what basketball players you compare your game to?
JF: I have watched Dan Dickau play and I think he is a great player. His game is very comparable to mine in the sense that he is a leader who can shoot and get his teamates involved. I try to play towards the style of Jason Williams from Duke because he is a scoring point guard who plays with high intensity and passion and he is always poised and focused.
ZH: What's your GPA, and do you have an academic major in mind yet? Off the court, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy? What CD is in your CD Player now?
JF: My GPA is a 3.4, but I do not have a major in mind yet. Off the court I like to hang out with my friends and enjoy high school life. In my CD player right now, I am listening to Alicia Keys, but recently I have been playing Raphael Saddiq (Gospeldelic).
With Gonzaga's early recruiting success for the class of 2003, GU has the luxury of now being able to focus on 2004. Jordan Farmar will be recruited hard by high majors and Gonzaga will be in the mix for him. Zags Hoops will continue to follow Jordan.