DeAndre Jordan Taking Advantage Of Opportunities
At the start of the season, DeAndre Jordan thought he would just be taking up a spot on the roster. After Marcus Camby went down with an ankle injury, the Clippers rookie got word from Coach Mike Dunleavy on January 19th that he would be starting against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
In his first start of his career, he had eight points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Since then, he's had seven starts, with his most memorable start coming on Jan 21 against the Los Angeles Lakers. He finished with a career high of 23 points. Not bad for a rookie playing against Kobe Bryant and his teammates.
"I didn't think it would happen this fast" said Jordan. "But when the starting opportunity presented itself, I was ready and I'm glad I got a chance to go out there and show what I can do."
Jordan wasn't new to the basketball world. The Texas native earned a name for himself after attending Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas, averaging 26.1 points, 15.2 rebounds and 8.1 blocked shots in 2008. He earned his first team All Greater Houston Honors by the Houston Chronicle during his breakout senior year.
He then attended Texas A&M and started in 21 out of 35 games. After playing only one season of college basketball, Jordan declared to enter the NBA draft in 2008.
"Playing college basketball helped prepare me mentally and physically for the NBA and it also has helped me get ready for the games in the NBA" said Jordan.
Jordan was the 35th pick overall in the 2008 NBA draft. After scouts projected him to be in the top ten a few months before the draft, his stock fell dramatically but the Clippers felt like they came up with a steal.
Blessed with a big body, strength and athleticism, the Clippers could see Jordan becoming a bigger version of Marcus Camby in the years to come.
Jordan stays amiable cheering his teammates on whenever their in the game. Even when he knows there's a chance that he might not get in the game, he still remains intense. He's always on the bench full of energy, smiling and pumping his teammates up.
On Feb 25, Zach Randolph made the game-winning basket that gave the Clippers a victory over the defending champion Boston Celtics. Jordan was so excited he couldn't hold his composure. He ran on the court and gave Randolph a very cordial hug.
With that fun-loving attitude along with his humility, he'll be a face to watch whether he's playing in the game or just sitting courtside for the night.