Eron Gordon is already used to the spotlight.
For some players, this may be the cause of anxiety. But for Eron, it means he’s watched the process of high-level recruitment happen up close, making the whole ordeal much less stressful by virtue of its familiarity.
“The big thing with him is that he’s gotten to watch it happen for two older brothers,” Matt Green, coach of the Eric Gordon All-Stars, said after a game on Friday. “The family knows the situation how it goes, he knows how it goes. … He grew up with pressure, so it’s like, when he gets it he expects it. It’s not something he lives because he’s expected to do what he does.”
This isn’t to say the hype surrounding his game is due only to the success of his brothers — Gordon’s game is highly advanced for a rising sophomore and he’s only getting better.
The 6-foot-2 guard is an excellent ballhandler and a terrific shooter. He’s adept at drawing contact and finishing through it, even if his body isn’t as developed as most of the players he’s going up against, many of whom are a full two years older than him. Gordon isn’t beating up on young players and padding his stats, he’s playing in 17U tournaments week in and week out this summer. As his coach said, he doesn’t have a big hand in the development of Gordon as a player — his family takes care of that.
“I just want him to attack the basket. He’s probably our best offensive player,” Green said. “Just learn the game. He’s understanding when to pass the ball and when to take it to the basket, he’s looking to make it to the free throw line and score, so I don’t have to do anything with the development of Eron Gordon. His dad handles it. Coach Mitchell at North Central handles it. All I have to do is have the pleasure of coaching him in the summer time and try to get him into the team concept, and just watch him play.”
Gordon has been a high-profile target since middle school, with schools such as Indiana and Purdue on him since he was in seventh grade. But now other schools are beginning to enter the fray, including Michigan.
The Indianapolis native said that his parents handle most of the calls from coaches, but that his father has had many talks with Michigan’s coaching staff.
“Michigan’s been talking to my parents a lot,” Gordon said. “My dad has a close relationship with the assistant coach [Jeff Meyer] because he coached him in college. I’ve been in a lot of contact with Michigan.”
For Gordon, seeing a player like Trey Burke get drafted coming out of Michigan’s program is an encouraging sign. Gordon sees a lot of himself in Michigan’s All-American point guard, including their similarly slight frames.
“I definitely like what they did with Trey Burke,” Gordon said. “When they first got him, not even being ranked in the top 100, and bringing him all the way to a top-10 draft pick with a small body, only 6-foot, it shows me that if you go there and work hard, you’re going to get really good results.”
Gordon has no visits lined up. But it’s looking like Michigan is a major player in his recruitment alongside many other Big Ten schools.
For now, Gordon will continue to work on his game, albeit in the rather bright regional spotlight — something he can thank his older brothers for. His coach believes he’s handled the pressure with aplomb.
“The kid’s unbelievable,” Green said. “He’s got great attitude, he’s competitive, he’s a warrior, he’s got everything you want, and as you can tell, all three of them have had pretty good careers.”