Happy 39th Birthday Ben Gordon
UConn alum Ben Gordon turns 39 today.
Happy 39th birthday to UConn hoops legend Ben Gordon. Gordon was the driving force behind the Huskies winning their second National Title.
Gordon was born in London, England but moved to the states when he was very young. He attended Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, NY where he lead his team to the 2000 New York State Public and Federation Championships. Seton Hall heavily recruited Gordon, but he accepted a scholarship to play in Storrs, CT for the UConn Huskies.
Gordon played for the Huskies from 2001 to 2004 where he made an immediate impact as a freshman off the bench. Even though he only started two games, Gordon was second on the 01-02 squad in scoring as he averaged 12.6 points per game. He assisted UConn in making it to the Elite Eight where they lost to eventual champs Maryland.
In his sophomore season, Gordon started 33 of 33 games where he recorded his best average with 19.5 points per game. He also averaged 4.2 board a game and 1.2 steals. Because of Gordons efforts in the 02-03 season, he was named Second Team Big East.
While Gordon and UConn were good, they couldn’t outlast a very good Texas Longhorn program in the Sweet Sixteen led by T.J. Ford.
The next year, Gordons final season in Storrs, was the year of destiny for both the Huskies and Gordon. Gordon led the squad in scoring with 20.5 points per game and recorded 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He also connected on 104 three pointers, the second most in Huskies history.
In the Big East Tournament, Gordon became ELECTRIC. He dropped 81 points in the tournament and was named MVP of the Big East Tournament.
Then, Gordon elevated his play even more for March Madness. The Huskies were put in the Phoenix Region and trounced Vermont 70-53, DePaul 72-55, Vanderbilt 73-53, and Cinderella story Alabama 87-71. Then the Huskies beat a loaded Duke squad led by J.J. Redick, Loul Deng, and Shelden Williams 79-78.
That Duke game felt like more of a National Title game than the real one as UConn beat 82-73. Gordon was named the Phoenix Region MVP and led the tournament in scoring with 127 total points.
Following the championship run, Gordon declared for the NBA Draft forgoing his senior season. He was selected third overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls while his teammate Emeka Okafor was taken number two by the Bobcats.
Gordon made an immediate splash off the bench for the Bulls being named Sixth Man of the Year and First Team All Rookie Team as he averaged 15.1 points per game and 2.5 assists.
Through the rest of his career, Gordon averaged 14.9 points per game with 11,084 career points, 2.5 rebounds per game, and 2.5 assists per game. Happy Birthday to a Huskies legend.