MJ’s oldest son, Jeff, leaves Central Florida
By Mark Potash firstname.lastname@example.org January 8, 2012 8:24PM
Guard Jeff Jordan played at Illinois before transferring to Central Florida to play with his younger brother, Marcus. | Laura Rauch~AP
Updated: February 10, 2012 9:03AM
Jeff Jordan’s on-again, off-again college basketball career appears to be over.
Michael Jordan’s oldest son, a former walk-on who left Illinois twice after earning a scholarship and transferred to Central Florida, has left the UCF team for ‘‘personal reasons,’’ according to the school. A 6-1 senior backup guard, Jordan’s playing time had diminished in recent games.
After sitting out last season, Jordan was looking forward to playing with his younger brother, Marcus, for the first time since high school, when Jeff was a senior and Marcus was a sophomore at Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
‘‘It’s definitely special,’’ Jeff Jordan told reporters during UCF’s media day in October. ‘‘It’s one of the things I thought about before I transferred here. It was a big factor in my decision. It’s going to be special.’’
A defensive specialist at Illinois, Jordan started the season as a key reserve for the Knights. But after averaging 4.1 points and 2.1 assists in 24 minutes in his first eight games, his production and playing time dwindled.
Since scoring nine points and dishing out six assists to back Marcus’ 28 points in a 77-65 victory over North Carolina A&T on Dec. 13, Jeff scored two points and had seven assists in his last five games.
After playing 10 and nine minutes in back-to-back UCF victories over Rhode Island and Tulane since starting point guard and fellow Chicagoan A.J. Rompza returned from an NCAA suspension, Jordan did not join the team at East Carolina on Saturday night, and the school announced his departure Sunday morning.
Jeff Jordan and his brother have been praised for handling their status as ‘‘Heir Jordans’’ ever since they were in the spotlight in high school.
Jeff played varsity basketball his last three seasons at Loyola. An All-Area selection as a senior in 2007, he turned down scholarship offers from Valparaiso, Loyola, Davidson and Illinois State to walk on at Illinois.
He earned a scholarship after two years as a bit player but left the Illini in June 2009, though he stayed in school. He rejoined the team before the 2009-10 season. But after averaging 1.6 points and 1.7 assists in a career-best 13.8 minutes, he left again and transferred to Central Florida.
Marcus Jordan, a 6-3 junior, is leading UCF in scoring (17.2 points). The Knights are 12-3 overall and 2-0 in Conference USA under second-year coach Donnie Jones.