Most of the cameras in the postgame locker room were fixed on Jordan Morgan, waiting to hear what he had to say. It was the tears that were flowing out of his eyes that you noticed most, not the words out of his mouth. The Detroit native tried to put into words just what it has meant to him to be in a leadership role with this team.
"I think that your real leadership is really learning from those that you lead," he said. "You know you try and build more leaders, being in a leadership position. You learn every day, and more than anything I think I have learned so much more from everyone on this team than they could ever learn from me. It has been a blessing to be on a team with these guys. They have helped me grow and understand just what leadership is all about."
Jordan had a great time with his teammates this year. The fun building stronger relationships it is something he will remember for a long time.
"Yeah, I mean, just this year has been the most fun time I've had playing basketball, probably ever. Really got close with a lot of guys, had the opportunity to grow myself as a leader, and be a mentor to some of these young guys. I just appreciate the opportunity."
Morgan has worked very hard to be there for his teammates and help them anyway he could. They are going to really miss him and what he brought to them on and off the floor. Here are comments about Jordan from the young men that he led on the hardwood this season.
Derrick Walton Jr .- "We are roommates on the road and there are times that we just sit and talk about the game. He helps me see the game at a slower pace. He helps me out a lot. Jordan's leadership qualities -- I am pretty sure that I can incorporate them into my own. I am really thankful for Jordan Morgan."
Zak Irvin - "Jordan is the best leader I have ever had on a basketball team. He gives so much to this team. Without him we would not have gotten this far."
Jon Horford - "Ah man, Jordan is huge for the team -- his experience, leadership and his toughness. He is one of those kids who always feel like people are always counting him out and never believe in him. Jordan has proved that he is a great college basketball player, and most importantly he is a winner. He is one of the winningest players in Michigan basketball history -- that's an accomplishment."
Spike Albrecht - "J-Mo is unbelievable -- you know the selflessness that he displayed this season was remarkable. The beginning of the season he was just sitting there behind Mitch and Jon. He could have been sulking and pouting but he didn't do that. He continued to come to practice every single day and work hard and produce positive energy for our team, and he never complained once. Jordan is probably our tournament M.V.P. He played incredible. I just couldn't be happier for him. It is sad that we are going to lose him next year because he is a great kid and a very hard worker."
Mitch McGary - "That's my big brother. Going through the things I went through this year he has been there, and I really leaned on him after my surgery. I was at a down point in my life and he turned me back around. I leaned on him as an older brother -- he could kind of guide me through the season. He made so many strides being one of our primary players. His leadership on the team is second to none. I am really happy for him. He had a great career."
Caris LeVert - "From the time I was on my visit here, Jordan was my host, and he has always been a big brother to me for the past 2-2½ years. J-Mo means everything to this program. He has seen the highs and lows, he has been through it all; through injures too. Right now he was playing his best basketball, so we are really happy for Jordan."
Nik Stauskas - "He has been a leader even last year with Trey (Burke) and Tim (Hardaway). He has always been a leader, especially this year for us. He really stepped up and embraced that role -- whether it has been a team film session, practice or games. Jordan has brought a lot of energy. I can't say enough about him and how far he has come, particularly with his play in the tournament this year."
Terry Mills, color analyst for Michigan basketball who has played at Michigan, has worked with Jordan Morgan and seen the progress in a young man he admires for his character on and off the court.
"Perfect role model and a model for anyone who comes in here that works hard," Mills said. "I remember working with Jordan when he first came in here, and he could probably barely run a sprint. To see where he was and where he is at is unbelievable, the hard work he has put in. I am really proud of him."
As Terry mentioned, the hard work that Jordan Morgan has put in is quite impressive. I can remember him coming out of high school thinking maybe he would be a serviceable player for Michigan. He has certainly exceeded all expectations -- he has built himself into a good basketball player on the court and a outstanding young man off the court. Morgan will leave first with what he came to Michigan for -- a Michigan degree in engineering. Secondly he made himself the player he is with hard work and determination. And last but certainly not least a lifetime of memories. I think it is safe to say he will miss Michigan, but clearly they will miss him more.
Morgan will be missed, on and off the floor
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