“Some guys have all the luck.”
“The rich get richer.”
[Enter your own cliché here…]
Any of these statements describe the good fortune that Arnette Jordan has. Why is that? And perhaps, more importantly…who is he?
Arnette Jordan is the Head Coach of the AAU Basketball team “The Family,” and he’s fortunate to coach two of the top recruits in the nation from the Class of 2018 at the same exact time, Gabe Brown and Trevion Williams. We will hear about Trevion Williams in a few days, and we’ll hear from Coach Jordan on both players.
But for today, let’s introduce you to Gabe Brown, a 3-star recruit out of Belleville, MI.
A 6’6”, 170-pound small forward from Belleville High School, Brown currently has one offer from DePaul, and has a long list of schools that have shown interest in him. That list includes Michigan State, as well as Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin, Xavier Butler, UNLV and Georgia Tech.
However, the interest from the Spartans holds special meaning for Gabe that goes well beyond the basketball court.
“To me, I think it would set me to be complete,” Brown told Spartan Nation, of what a Michigan State offer would mean. “My dad always wanted me to get that offer [from MSU] for him.”
Unfortunately, Gabe Brown’s father passed away. But Gabe carries his dad with him every day of his life.
“My dad meant everything to me,” he admitted. “He was basically my hero. That’s really the person I looked up to.”
He also said that his mom has obviously made an indelible impact on his life. Both of his parents instilled a tireless work ethic on and off the court in him, and that includes his academics, as well as character and integrity.
“It means a lot to me…it really does,” Brown stated.
On the court, Gabe is a strong shooter and all-around player, but he does need to get a little stronger and improve on his defense. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what Tom Izzo has been telling Brown in their recruitment conversations.
“He tells me I’m a really good scorer and I really need to get stronger to play in his system,” Brown admitted.
Coach Jordan says if Gabe can get a little stronger and improve on the defensive end, combined with his already tireless drive, work ethic and talent, he could go from being a really good player to being elite.
“One of the things Gabe does is he tries to start out on the [opposing] team’s best player, and that has to account for something. Gabe spends time in the gym working on his craft, and I respect it. He always wants to check the best player and I love that about him. If he keeps growing and accepting the challenge, the sky’s the limit for him,” Coach Jordan explained.
And it’s Coach Jordan that continues to challenge Gabe and all of his AAU teammates with The Family, and he does it for a reason.
“Gabe understands that I’m an intense guy and I’m going to coach these guys hard because I want to see them be successful. The way I look at it – if I’m hard on them and give them the experience that they’re going to get in college, once they get to college they can handle it and they don’t have to worry about it.”
“They push me as hard as they can in practice, yelling at me everyday,” Brown said of his coaches. But Gabe is the kind of kid who welcomes the push from his coaches…he is constantly striving to improve.
During our interview with him, Gabe gave Spartan Nation his thoughts on a few of the schools that have been recruiting him:
On Purdue – “They just now started recruiting me, but I really like the school. I feel like I could fit their system with my shooting ability.”
On Michigan – “I love Michigan – they’re a real good school. They see me playing my game as Caris LeVert [2016 1st round draft pick of the Indiana Pacers…later traded to, and playing for, the Brooklyn Nets].”
On Michigan Coach John Beilein & the Michigan Campus – “[John] Beilein is a real great coach – one of the best coaches in the Big Ten. Their campus – I love being there, I love the atmosphere. They really treat you like family, just like Michigan State.”
On Wisconsin – “I really like them. They don’t talk to me as much, but I really like that school.”
And finally, Gabe gave us his thoughts on a few topics revolving around Michigan State:
On the MSU Campus – “I love the campus, I love being there, I love the atmosphere, I love talking to the coaches. It’s a great experience there.”
On Tom Izzo – “Izzo is one of the greatest coaches of all-time. He pushes every player, he makes sure they’re doing right. That’s what I like.”
On Miles Bridges’ decision to return to MSU – “I was real surprised. He’s really a Top 5 or Top 10 draft pick that could have left this year, but he had some unfinished business and wanted to stay at Michigan State.”
On Mike Garland – “Mike Garland is really like family to me. He grew up with my dad and my uncle – he played for them and really coached them, so he’s like family.”
On Dane Fife – “Coach Fife is a real good dude.”
On D.J. Stevens – “I love D.J. [Stevens]. He’s funny and cool and always talking. He’s a real good coach.”
Let’s conclude our introduction to Gabe Brown with a quote from his AAU Head Coach. It’s not easy keeping a team of players with extreme potential levelheaded, but it’s something Coach Jordan strives to do.
“I tell them to keep playing. Don’t worry about the recruiting right now…it’s going to take care of itself. Obviously those guys are happy to see their name on Twitter all the time. But I tell them all the time, ‘Don’t worry about recruiting because, when you do, that’s when it starts to work on your game.’ Just play, just do you, let the coaches come and then we’ll figure it out later.”
The coaches are certainly coming out for Gabe Brown, and as long as he continues to grow and improve, they’ll keep showing up. And so will we – if/when a Michigan State offer comes through for Gabe, Spartan Nation will be there to tell you about it.
Also keep an eye out for an article on Gabe Brown’s AAU teammate, Trevion Williams, in a few days.