Jordan Nets Offer

One in-state guard who has picked up some serious momentum this spring and summer is Plainfield East's Aaron Jordan. And on Sunday, he also picked up an Illinois offer.

Despite having a combination foot and ankle injury this past weekend, Plainfield East's Aaron Jordan toughed it out and played, knowing full well how important the live period of recruiting is with coaches in attendance.

"I had a bit of a foot and an ankle sprain," he said. "It's gotten better but I'm still not 100%. It was the live period so I told myself I couldn't sit out. I just had to suck it up and play."

One coach who was impressed by not only Jordan's game, but also his toughness was Illinois head coach John Groce, who was in attendance at Riverside-Brookfield on Sunday to watch Jordan play.

Later that evening, Jordan got some news that made his ankle feel a whole lot better.

"I got the offer late on Sunday at about eight," he said. "I kind of knew it was coming. Once he called, that's what I was hoping it was, and once he said it, I was really happy."

Jordan had seen the Illinois campus before, but Sunday was his first live opportunity to make an impression on Groce. And despite the implications, Jordan didn't put too much pressure on himself.

"I came up for an unofficial but that was the first time he'd seen me play," he said, "so I made sure I was doing my best. I felt comfortable out there."

Players are always looking for the right fit for their game. Jordan likes the faster pace that Coach Groce is building at Illinois.

"Well I could see myself in it," he said. "He's had a lot of combo guards and I feel like that's part of my game. I really like playing the uptempo pace offense. It brings a unique style to the game."

But he isn't going to limit himself to one particular system. His goal is to build himself into a complete player that can fit anywhere.

"I really think my overall game can fit me into many different systems in college," he said. "I have a well-rounded skill set that helps me do that."

Jordan now holds offers from Wisconsin, Creighton, Illinois State, Valparaiso, Fairfield, Hampton, UIC, and San Jose State. But the Illinois offer is unique to him.

"Well, it's my home state school so it feels special," Jordan said. "I watched all kinds of basketball growing up so I didn't really follow any one team."

He does know what his strengths are. And while his jump shot is already strong, he's working toward becoming more of a slasher and adding another weapon to his arsenal.

"Really shooting, especially shooting the three is my strength," Jordan said. "I've been working on taking my guy off the dribble and getting to the rim. I feel like it's improving a lot."

Recruiting is heating up for Jordan, no doubt, but he's doing his best to keep his cool through the whole process knowing that more offers are likely on the way.

"Right now it's a little overwhelming with all of the coaches at our games," he said, "but if I stay focused I'll be alright."

Football has been especially prominent in the Plainfield and Bolingbrook area in recent years, but Jordan is seeing a rise in basketball, too.

"Basketball I think has really been getting big in this area," he said. "When you look at who's at these schools now and as you grow up, you see that it's a really good environment for basketball."

And at his high school, he was challenged to step up early in his career. Like many other sophomores who play on the varsity team, it was a lot of responsibility in a short time, but Jordan handled it well and learned a lot about himself as a player and a leader.

"Yeah I did feel like I had a leadership role," he said. "I found out that I'm more mentally tough than I thought I was, and that really showed on the floor."

But with summer in full swing, Jordan will juggle AAU events, team camps, and recruiting visits. He already has a few in mind.

"I'm probably going to visit Illinois State, San Jose State, Valpo, and Wisconsin," he said. "There's a chance I could visit Illinois sometime during August or sometime during the fall."


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