Aaron Gordon is a rising star in the Class of 2013 and, on Tuesday, elected to take his talents (h/t ESPN) to the University of Arizona.
While the diehard Wildcats fans are thrilled with this signing, the casual college basketball fans and those who don’t follow recruiting closely likely haven’t had a chance to see this forward show his stuff.
The Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) product will put his talents on display on Wednesday evening in the nationally televised McDonald’s All-American Game, where he will likely start at power forward for the West team.
Listed at 6’8”, 210 pounds, you wouldn’t believe this youngster has the size or strength to play power forward, but just give him a chance and watch the tape to see one of the most unique and athletic prospects around.
Gordon is first and foremost a motor guy that hustles hard on every play. He never gives up and is often leaping up to slam home a put-back or grab an offensive rebound to keep a possession alive.
Because of his aerial ability, Gordon is a great finisher around the rim and is often lurking in the paint. However, he’s an above-average jump shooter that can drag his man outside, and this will only improve with more training and time in the gym.
Another skill that Gordon brings to the table is his ability to play point-forward, as he is rapidly improving as a ball-handler, has a good feel for the game and is blessed with an innate sense of passing and court vision.
He often (sometimes to a fault) comes down with a rebound and starts sprinting the other way with it, looking to finish a coast-to-coast jam or set up a teammate in transition.
There is concern that Gordon will not be able to be a full-time power forward at the NBA level—and possibly even in college—but he’s been developing great small forward skills and could likely start there for the Wildcats next season.
Regardless, expect him to assume the role of a power forward in the McDonald’s exhibition and show off his athleticism every chance he gets.
Gordon already made shockwaves during the Powerade Jam Fest and will be a contender for MVP if the West is able to win in Chicago on Wednesday.