Shown here with former head coach Steve Lavin, Rysheed Jordan has decided to end career at St. John's in favor of professional opportunities. (Photo courtesy of the New York Post)
An offseason loaded with tumult has brought about its latest twist at the corner of Union and Utopia.
Rysheed Jordan, who projected to be St. John's top returning player going into his junior season, has decided to pursue a career at the professional level, ending a highly publicized and well-chronicled stint in a Red Storm uniform after just two years.
"Playing professional basketball has always been a goal of mine," Jordan said in a statement issued by St. John's on Friday. "I believe I am ready to take the next step in my basketball career, and plan to work hard to achieve my dream of playing in the NBA."
As Jordan did not reach this decision prior to the April 26 early entry deadline, he is ineligible to enter the NBA Draft, which will be held at Barclays Center on June 25. However, the talented Philadelphia point guard, who averaged 14.1 points per game for a St. John's team that returned to the NCAA Tournament this past season, will no doubt be an intriguing option for any NBDL or overseas clubs interested in his services, as his skill with or without the ball in his hands certainly makes him a viable choice.
"I am thankful for the opportunities and support St. John's University has provided to me," Jordan continued. "This decision was made with my family's best interests in mind."
Lured to Queens by former coach Steve Lavin in the summer of 2013, Jordan's time with the Red Storm was almost always enigmatic, marked with several situations where he needed to return home due to circumstances that exceeded the basketball court, not to mention the notorious shielding from the media imposed by Lavin in an attempt to get his precocious floor general to focus on academic matters. When on the floor, though, he displayed his sky-high potential, being lauded as a possible lottery pick if he were able to keep it all together.
The latest chapter in his saga came last month, when it was reported by Roger Rubin; who covers St. John's for the New York Daily News, that Jordan may perhaps be declared academically ineligible for at least the fall semester, raising even further speculation as to his uncertain future. Now that he is out of the picture, the Red Storm have a glaring hole to fill at the point guard position, with incoming freshman Marcus LoVett perhaps on the inside track to win the starting role provided he meets eligibility requirements, which; according to Rubin, is expected.
"We support Rysheed and wish him well in his professional endeavors," said St. John's head coach Chris Mullin, who will ultimately never get a chance to shepherd Jordan's career. "He has the potential to play at the highest level of our sport."