January 08, 2007

Eric Gordon: Before the Storm

Before today, I'd never seen Eric Gordon play. I had no idea what Eric Gordon looked like. And until Jake read me the day's itinerary, I'd never even heard his name. I'm guessing that if you're not a basketball recruiting junkie or from around the Indiana/Ohio/Illinios area, you probably don't know much about him, either

That's about to change. After attending his high school practice, I will warn you: He's a volcano ready to erupt upon this entire country.

The third-highest rated prep player in CSTV's rankings, Gordon, a 6-3, 210 senior shooting guard from North Central High School, in Indianapolis, posseses what's been called the most complete offensive high school arsenal since Kobe Bryant. For two hours of practice, we studied him first hand, and can attest to the fact that the kid simply can't miss.


Ever play Tecmo Bowl with Bo Jackson? That's sort of what Gordon looked like playing against his peers, a half dozen of whom the coach estimated would play college ball. "You really get a sense of how bad you are," backup teammate James Sample says about playing everyday against Gordon.

There's not much Gordon can't do with a basketball. His jump shot is flawless and NBA-caliber. He's an excellent and willing passer. However, the best part of his game is his explosiveness, that extra gear that only the great ones possess. Somehow, when he's dribbling, he's faster than everyone else sprinting. Ever see LeBron steal a pass and attack the rim? Yeah, Gordon does that, too.

As explosive as he is on the court, he's equally passe off it. Over the course of a two hour practice, I probably heard Gordon utter less than ten words. When he's not in the game, Gordon's go-to move is the head nod.


"The light shines on him because of the way he does things," says Gordon's coach, Doug Mitchell. "I saw Eric Gordon make the greatest dunk I'd probably ever seen in a high school game the other night--at one point, Eric was sitting on a guy's head. And he was fouled, but there was no pounding his chest or popping his jersey; he just walked to the free throw line. Even better than the dunk was how Eric responded."

Next year, Gordon takes his game to Bloomington, where he'll suit up for Kelvin Sampson at IU. There he'll become a national sports figure like Kevin Durant at Texas or Greg Oden at OSU. And with his demeanor and game, the Hoosier faithful will cherish him, too...at least before he makes the jump to the NBA.


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Posted by Matt Waxman at 10:57 PM | Comment