By Alexander Britell
MIAMI – After a standout career at the University of Tulsa, Jamaican native Jerome Jordan was drafted 44th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2010 NBA draft. Shortly after, his rights were purchased by the New York Knicks. After spending a season playing in Serbia (and a partial season in Slovenia during the NBA lockout), Jordan is now living his dream as an NBA center for the New York Knicks, who are no stranger to towering centers from Jamaica (Knicks legend Patrick Ewing was born in Kingston). To learn more, Caribbean Journal talked to Jordan before his game last week against the Miami Heat about the beginning of his career, Jamaican basketball and meeting Patrick Ewing.
How is the season going so far?
The season’s going great so far. I’m just coming in, for me personally, getting some work done, working out and just living my dream playing in the NBA.
As a Jamaican, what does it mean to represent your country in the NBA?
Just coming here and working hard and trying to make your country proud – doing the right things, playing the right way and doing whatever it takes for your team.
One of the Knicks’ greatest players – Patrick Ewing, was born in Kingston. Is that something you’re mindful of?
I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of games ago for the first time, and heard a lot of things about him. Obviously I’ve seen him play — he’s a great player – I just want to come out here and make my country proud.
How much has basketball developed in Jamaica?
I think it’s developing. It’s a little slow, but it’s developing for sure. Me and Samardo Samuels in Cleveland, and there are a couple of other guys in college and high schools. I think it’s growing — its on the up.
Do you keep in touch with Samardo?
Here and there, I see him, and obviously we played last game. I talk to him a little bit, so all of us try and stay in contact – in college, high school and overseas, and try to be a family.
Heat Center Joel Anthony is from Antigua. Is there any Caribbean rivalry there?
No, no — not that I know of.