LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Kentucky has added another big man to its roster.
Ben Jordan, a redshirt sophomore and a right-handed pitcher on the Wildcats’ baseball team joined his new teammates on the bench during Friday night’s Blue-White game.
Jordan, a 6-foot-9, 250-pound forward, attended practice for the first time last Tuesday and the former West Carter High School standout is excited about the opportunity.
“Like so many others in the state of Kentucky, basketball has been a part of my life since I was just a kid,” Jordan said. “When the opportunity presented itself to join the UK basketball team, I wanted to go into it with an open mind, especially since I stepped away from the sport to focus on baseball. After a couple of days of practice, it’s clear to me that this is something I want to commit to.
“Baseball has been and will remain my top priority, but I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge of competing in two sports I love to play. I’ve talked to Coach (Nick) Mingione about it and we did this with his full blessing. I’m looking forward to helping in practice and being a great teammate this season.”
Jordan averaged 12.2 rebounds per game as a senior at West Carter and was Eastern Kentucky Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He also was a first-team, all-conference performer.
Kentucky coach John Calipari welcomed the addition of Jordan to the roster.
“I really appreciate Ben helping our team and agreeing to be a part of this,” Calipari said. “He has a great demeanor and a way about him that really fits in well with this team. The guys already have embraced him as one of our own. I think he’ll be a great addition to this team.”
Kentucky baseball coach Nick Migione agreed.
“This is a unique opportunity for Ben and one we support wholeheartedly,” Mingione said. “He’s a tremendous young man and student-athlete. I’m confident Ben will be a great teammate and a positive addition for Coach Cal and the men’s basketball program. I’m looking forward to watching Ben take on this opportunity.”
Jordan appeared in 10 games for the baseball team last season and for the Gaithersburg Giants of the Cal Ripken College Baseball League, Jordan appeared in seven games with six starts. He went 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 26.2 innings, allowing just 14 hits while striking out 36 en route to First Team All-Cal Ripken League honors.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at email@example.com or twitter @keithtaylor21.