June 24, 2009
Jeffrey Jordan is Michael Jordan's son. That little proposition, as it relates to basketball, can not be an easy one for any offspring to undertake.
It's not just that your dad was a great NBA basketball player. Your dad was the single greatest basketball player who ever lived. Your entire life, you're not just a classmate to your friends. You're the son of their hero. Imagine that! For all of the sundry benefits of being Jordan's son -- the money, the basketball shoes, the unimaginably awesome toys you'd get as a kid -- the specter of anticipation, of "hey, that's Michael Jordan's son out there" would haunt you for as long as you played basketball.
It appears those days are over for Jordan's eldest offspring. Jeffrey Jordan, a walk-on-turned-scholarship-athlete at Illinois, has apparently decided to hang up his balling kicks for good:
"I loved playing for the Fighting Illini and appreciate the support I was given by my teammates, coaches and the great fans here," Jordan said. "But I have come to the point where I'm ready to focus on life after basketball. I will concentrate on earning my degree from the University of Illinois and the opportunities that await upon graduating."
And good for him. Though it is a bit of an odd decision. Jordan went to school as a walk-on before earning a scholarship spot and slightly more minutes from Illinois coach Bruce Weber in his sophomore season. Why quit now? Perhaps the hassle of being Jordan's son on the basketball court factored in, but maybe not. Maybe Jeffrey is just tired of playing basketball. He certainly wouldn't be the first.
I have no idea. But I do know that it leaves Marcus all on his lonesome in the college game. Family honor's riding on you, kid. No pressure.