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Aaron Jordan is rated one of the top 100 juniors in the country. | John Patsch/For Sun-Times Media
If everything had gone according to plan, this was the year everyone would find out if Aaron Jordan had the ingredients necessary to be a high-major recruit.
But the rise of the 6-4 Plainfield East junior guard has been swift.
After putting together a stellar sophomore season, averaging 15.5 points a game while shooting just under 50 percent from the three-point line (63 of 129), Jordan was burgeoning into a bonafide prospect. But yet he headed into the spring practically anonymous among high-major college coaches and sporting just two offers overall –– from Hampton and Fairfield.
“In my gut I had a feeling the interest and recruiting would pick up,” Jordan said sheepishly.
Now, just six months later, the 6-4 shooting guard has double-digit scholarship offers, with Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Butler and Xavier all on board. Jordan is among the top handful of players in Illinois' Class of 2015, and is ranked among the top 100 prospects in the country.
“Now that it has picked up, it has been a little overwhelming at times,” Jordan said. “But I have great people around me to keep my head on straight.”
Since the buzz around Jordan has picked up, Plainfield East coach Branden Adkins hasn’t seen any change in his star guard’s demeanor or approach. Jordan, who is outstanding academically taking AP and honors courses, is sharp and down-to-earth in handling everything that has come his way.
“He hasn’t changed one bit since that first offer,” Adkins said. “At no point does he carry himself like he has this game figured out. He’s still the same humble, fun-loving great kid. As the best player he’s also stepped up in leading his team, giving the best effort and being the best role model.”
The once slender shooting guard has grown an inch and a half since the season ended. Since committing himself to becoming stronger and more athletic, he’s added weight and strength to his frame.
“I think I’m a smarter, bigger and stronger player than I was last year,” Jordan said. “I need to continue working on my game. I need to continue to work on my shooting off the dribble, getting to the rim and finishing through contact.”
Adkins has watched up close his prized player’s shooting range and scoring ability. He sees the tantalizing physical tools with his size, along with his maturation into a complete guard. And Adkins sees no reason why Jordan won’t continue to make positive strides with two years of high school still remaining.
“Aaron’s work ethic and competitiveness is off the charts,” Adkins said. “He is constantly working on things to make himself the best he can be. He wants to be the best.”