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Eric Gordon, Jr. (born December 25, 1988 in ) is an Americanmarker professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA. He is known, in part, as the subject of a major recruiting battle between the University of Illinoismarker and Indiana Universitymarker in the spring and summer of 2006; because of Gordon's talent and high level of play that year, his recruitment was the subject of a great deal of media coverage.

Gordon played one season of college basketball at Indiana and was considered one of the top collegiate players in the nation that year. Gordon finished his freshman season at IU leading the Big Ten in scoring and tied for 19th in the nation at 21.5 points per game.

Gordon entered the 2008 NBA Draft. He was selected 7th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers.

North Central (2003–2007)

Gordon played high school basketball at North Central High Schoolmarker in Indianapolis, Indiana. He led North Central to the Indiana 4A title game his senior year. However, they fell to E'Twaun Moore, Angel Garcia and East Chicago Central. He averaged 29 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting 57.0% from the field, 77.9% from the free throw line, and 46.2% from three-point range. Gordon was also named Indiana's "Mr. Basketball" for 2007 as well as a McDonald's All-American. Eric was a teammate of Greg Oden in Indiana AAU ball.

Recruitment

After making an early verbal commitment in late 2005, Gordon's recruitment was frequently discussed in the summer of 2006, as his contact with Indiana University led to frequent rumors that he intended to renege on his original commitment to the University of Illinois. Gordon's recruitment was particularly high-profile because of his high level of play in summer tournaments and the high ranking given to him by major recruiting services.

Early verbal commitment

On November 30, 2005, during his junior year of high school, Gordon made a verbal commitment to play basketball for Bruce Weber at the University of Illinois, selecting the Illini over overtures from Dukemarker and Notre Damemarker. Gordon and his family cited their comfort with Bruce Weber, the location of Illinois' campus, and the success of former Illini guards Deron Williams and Luther Head in the NBA as reasons for their decision.

Communication with Indiana

On February 15, 2006, Sports Illustrated reported that Mike Davis, then the head coach at Indiana Universitymarker, intended to resign after the 2005–06 season, due in part to a lack of support after the team failed to make the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005. Indiana subsequently hired Kelvin Sampson as the new men's basketball coach in March 2006. Some reporters speculated that Gordon was uninterested in playing at Indiana under Mike Davis because of Davis' lack of success. Shortly after Sampson was named head coach at Indiana, he hired Jeff Meyer, Eric Gordon Sr.'s college basketball coach and a long time family friend, as an assistant.

During the subsequent offseason, Gordon was recruited by Sampson's staff after Gordon told Sampson he was still interested in Indiana. It was rumored in July 2006 that Gordon had decided to vacate his verbal commitment because of concerns about the strength of Illinois' incoming class, but Gordon stated that although he was a childhood fan of the Hoosiers and was considering Indiana, he was still committed to Illinois. That month, Gordon played with Derrick Rose, another top-5 recruit, in an attempt to convince Rose to join him at Illinois.

Decommitment and signing

Rumors of an impending decommitment continued into the start of the 2006–07 academic year, fueled in part by Gordon's rise to the top of some services' rankings of high school basketball players. On September 2, 2006, Gordon and Rose made an unofficial visit to Indiana to scrimmage with current Hoosier players, fueling further speculation that Gordon would switch his commitment. Six weeks later, on October 13, 2006, Eric Sr. announced that his son had officially decided to change his commitment. Gordon signed a National Letter of Intent with Indiana on November 8, 2006.

Aftermath

Gordon's announcement gave Indiana a very strong 2007 recruiting class, ranked by some analysts as the third-best incoming class in the country. Kelvin Sampson and Bruce Weber both received criticism from fellow coaches for failing to communicate with one another about Gordon's recruitment. Although the NCAA does not regulate verbal commitments or the recruitment of orally committed players, some observers have stated that Sampson had acted unethically in recruiting a committed player without first contacting Weber.

The timing of the switch was particularly damaging for Illinois, which had expected Gordon to be part of its class and was left without a shooting guard at a time when most other guards had made verbal commitments. The Illini recovered remarkably well, receiving a letter of intent from top 100 shooting guard Quinton Watkins of Compton, California, the following December, but, due to NCAA Academic Clearinghouse issues, he would not play for the Illini, eventually deciding to enroll, briefly, at San Diego State.

Gordon was warmly welcomed by Indiana fans, but received sharp criticism from Illinois fans for the timing of his decommitment and his previous statements about his college destination. Eric Sr. stated in October 2006 that his son had received death threats as a result of his decision, although his son later stated that Illinois fans had only said they did not want the younger Gordon to be successful. On February 7, 2008, Gordon and Indiana played Illinois in Champaign; Gordon and his family were the targets of loud booing and taunting throughout the game, and some witnesses reported that the Gordon parents were hit with ice and orange and blue beads near the game's end. Illinois' athletic director, Ron Guenther, apologized for the incident, calling fan behavior "disappointing and intolerable." Illinois fans were reportedly particularly outraged that the Gordon family, and its entourage, wore "Got Gordon?" t-shirts, a paean to the Got Milk? campaign.

College career

Indiana

2007–2008

Gordon finished his freshman season averaging 20.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, making 33.7% of his three-point shots and leading the Big Ten in scoring. Gordon was highly effective for Indiana in its first 18 games as the Hoosiers started the season with 17 wins and only one loss. However, he entered into a noticeable shooting slump at the end of the year, making only 18.6% of his three-point field goal attempts (13 of 70) after Indiana's February 7 win against Illinois and shooting only 3 of 15 from the field and 0 of 6 from the three point line in the team's loss to Arkansas in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Gordon played the second half of the season with an injured wrist.

On March 10, 2008 Gordon was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and to the First Team of the Big Ten Conference by the coaches and media, along with his teammate D. J. White. He was also a 3rd Team All-American

Professional career

Los Angeles Clippers

2008–2009

Gordon announced on April 4, 2008 at 4:00pm at the Jewish Community Center that he would enter the 2008 NBA Draft. ESPN analyst Chad Ford has ranked Gordon as one of the top ten players in this draft class. He was drafted with the seventh pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. Gordon scored 23 points in his first NBA Summer League game in the Las Vegas summer league on the campus of UNLVmarker. Gordon played in two summer league games where he averaged 19 points and 6.5 rebounds. Gordon injured his hamstring July 12 against the Charlotte Bobcats. It was confirmed on July 13, 2008 by the Clippers that Gordon would miss the rest of summer league due to a strained left hamstring.

However, at the start of the 2008 NBA pre-season, Gordon made his offensive prowess known in only his second exhibition game, scoring 33 points in 31 minutes to help the Clippers defeat the Sacramento Kings 116–112. Gordon is represented by agent Rob Pelinka. Then on January 23, Eric had a season-high 41 points, a Clipper rookie record.

NBA career statistics

Regular season

2008–09
L.A. Clippers
78 65 34.3 .456 .389 .854 2.6 2.8 1.0 .4 16.1
Career
78 65 34.3 .456 .389 .854 2.6 2.8 1.0 .4 16.1

Accomplishments and awards

NBA



References

  1. Gordon seals IU deal with signing
  2. Eric Gordon: Before the Storm
  3. PRO BASKETBALL: "Rookie Gordon scores 33 in victory". - Los Angeles Times. - October 16, 2008.
  4. Gordon, Thornton combine for big night as Clips win despite Durant's 46
  5. http://www.nba.com/clippers/news/gordon_rom_090202.html


External links




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