Feature photo courtesy of Jordan Cohen.
Update (9/15/2015): Jordan Cohen has signed to Lehigh.
Jordan Cohen feels he has been overlooked, and rightfully so. The 6-foot, 180 pound guard from Campbell Hall in Los Angeles, California averaged 11.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game (leading the team in the last two categories) in his junior season, playing alongside UCLA-bound Aaron Holiday (brother of Jrue and Justin) and helping the Vikings to a 27-10 record.
Perhaps most impressive of the averages, Cohen also maintains a 4.5 GPA and scored a 33 on his ACT, placing him in the 99th percentile range for students who have taken the standardized test. It seems impossible, but through dedication and sacrifice (he no longer has an Xbox, a overbearing plight for most millennials), Cohen has made excelling at the highest level in both academics and sports a reality.
“Its been tough, pretty much, I have school, then I have practice, then immediately after I have to come home and do homework.” said Cohen. “Just balancing my time and using my time wisely, that’s definitely helped.”
Yet, for some reason, Cohen’s efforts have not yet been enough to earn him collegiate recognition.
“I don’t have any offers, I just have a couple schools interested in me,” explained Cohen when asked about the recruiting process.
Cohen has been in talks with Patriot League schools like Holy Cross and every Ivy League school besides Harvard, which is understandable for a kid with the aforementioned academic statistics. He is in constant communication with the coaches at the schools, yet was unable to head back east to visit due to a concussion he received while playing for his Pasadena-based travel team, BTI.
However, a season of opportunity remains for Cohen. Going into his senior campaign, he expects Campbell Hall to continue the path of progression towards becoming a Southern California powerhouse.
“My freshman year we went to the quarterfinals in CIF, then sophomore year semi-finals, then last year we lost in the championship, which was pretty heartbreaking,” said Cohen. “I’m kind of looking at it like this year we are going to take it one step further and win CIF.”
In order for Cohen to fulfill his self-proclaimed championship prophecy, his role on the team will have to change. Cohen knows that the team-leader-sized shoes left behind by Aaron Holiday, who he credits for improving his game “a ton,” are his to fill.
“Everyone’s going to have to step up, and I think Aaron’s role is something I’m going to have to take over,” Cohen said confidently.
Being a team leader should come rather naturally to Cohen. He’s been on varsity since his freshman year at Campbell Hall and credits his “knowledge of the game” as the most valuable aspect of his skill-set. Cohen says that basketball has always been his number one passion in life and making the NBA would still be a “dream come true.” He sees himself having to take on a “LeBron role” for Campbell Hall next season, including playing some time at power forward despite his 6-foot frame. The numbers he expects to put up next season are additionally of LeBron-ian caliber.
“My goals are pretty far-fetched,” warned Cohen. “I’d say like 30, 12, and 8…or 30, 10, and 7.”
As Cohen enters his senior season with his collegiate future still up in the air, he is willing to leave California to just about any location as long as it means he can achieve his dream of playing Division I ball.
With an already proven game, established all-around statistics, constant communication with Division I coaches, an Ivy league GPA, and the opportunity to prove himself as his team’s leader, Cohen’s chances of receiving his coveted and elusive offer are now much more realistic than far-fetched.