Over the years the German Regionalliga have had some amazing American players that showcased massive explosive scoring qualities and it is no different in 2020. In the German Regionalliga, you have an abundance of young and older German players and usually one dominant American. An American averaging 20,0 in this league means in some cases little, but if you’re a Ricky Easterling who averaged 33,0ppg with Saarlouis 10 years ago, it is a big deal. This season the first explosive new player came on the scene with Dorsten’s forward Mark Gordon who scorched team Lowen for 40 in his professional debut and after 4 games is averaging an overwhelming 33,0ppg. It is just a normal procedure for an American to score very many points in this league, because the league is also a stepping stone to get to the higher leagues so as a player you need to put up incredible stats. But not every American is like this. When I heard that ex Wisconsin Badger Jordan Hill (192-G-94, college: Seattle, agency: Scorers 1st Sportmanagement) had signed with Ibbenburen, I was pleasantly overjoyed. It isn’t every day that one sees a player of this calibur from a well known NCAA school like Wisconsin ball in the German 4th league. My first thought was, this guy is going to dominate this level. Little did I know that dominating is in his basketball language, but not necessarily in scoring. I was lucky to see him play his first game with Ibbenburen in Rhondorf. I was shocked when he didn’t even start or play in the first quarter. He finally was inserted in the second quarter and quickly and easily scored 2 rapid buckets in a row. Then I thought that a Ricky Easterling scoring rampage would come, but boy was I wrong. At the end of the game, he didn’t play 30 minutes, but only 14 minutes, but scored 13 points and dished out 4 assists while rebounding and playing defense. He hit all of his 6 shots as well. After helping his team to the 87-73 victory, I was surprised, but convinced that I had just seen the first complete American player in the Regionalliga. Scoring wasn’t the main dish on his basketball menu. ‘I can score. I can get to a bucket when necessary but I am such a complete player that it would be a disservice to everyone if I didn’t show the full package. My shooting is probably one of my better qualities. I think a look at my percentage may be misleading but I know how dangerous I can be from 3. This season will be a great chance to prove that. I can pass the ball with the best of them and I think my teammates will tell you how great I can share the ball. If I am called on to score more, then that is what I will do. I definitely think I have more to show than that though’, warned Jordan Hill. This American has enriched the league already after only a few games with his unselfishness.
Just like every one on earth Jordan Hill didn’t have the normal 2020 leading up to his current job in Germany. His last employer was a team in Brasil. He also was lucky to play a extra month as most guys that were balling in Europe had their season’s end at the beginning of March. For him finding any kind of normalcy in Seattle was out of the question. ‘Covid-19 has been a bit crazy in the States. The most difficult part of the pandemic was trying to find a place to get some time on the court. A large majority of the gyms were closed and unavailable. Weight rooms, basketball gyms, and even some outside courts were all shutdown for months. I was forced to do workouts inside the apartment and dribble around outside’, stressed Jordan Hill. Even if COVID-19 has hurt the world’s economy, it most sadly ended so many lives and caused families heart aches, there was a positive thing about it. In many cases it has helped people see the world in a whole different perspective and thus force one to react in certain ways one may not have had COVID-19 not struck. ‘I think it gave me time to sit back and make a plan for things I was looking to change in my life. I started a business and got accepted to a master’s program. I am always looking for ways to become a better person day in and day out. It challenged me to not be complacent. I forced myself to work on skills and try things I previously didn’t make time for’, warned Jordan Hill.
Jordan Hill was born on December 12, 1994 in West Hills, California and grew up in Pasadena. He has 5 siblings and his uncle, Anthony Harris, played football at Cal State Northridge. The 25 year old American got his first real basketball experience with LaSalle in Pasadena, California averaging 15.5ppg, 7.0rpg, 4.0apg, 2.0spg, 2.0bpg. He then got some added basketball experience at Phillips Exeter Academy averaging 7.5ppg, 4.0rpg, 8.0apg. The American who compares his game to guys like Penny Hardaway, Devin Booker and Steph Curry remembers what sold Wisconsin (NCAA) on his basketball abilities. ‘I didn’t see any problem with my stats at all at Exeter. I didn’t take a lot of shots during my time there. We played a team game. My job was to play aggressive defense in the front court and find the open man when the ball was in my hands. I had some pretty great games and plenty of highlight plays on our way to winning the first NEPSAC Class A Championship in Exeter school history. I have always had the talent and skill to play at the highest level. There is absolutely no doubt about that in my mind. I received my Wisconsin scholarship after a weekend of incredible play during my AAU season. My mentality towards defense, creating for others, and my overall work ethic is what got me the offer’, warned Jordan Hill. He then played 4 years at Wisconsin, but it didn’t turn out the way he may have thought. He played only 40 NCAA games in 3 seasons and never averaged more than 3,0ppg, but did reach 2 NCAA final 4’s losing to Duke and Kentucky. He had some amazing teammates with future NBA players Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker and future Euroleague player Nigel Hayes. Despite not getting sufficient minutes there, he took the positives from the situation. ‘It was difficult every day. It used to really bother me to know I was capable of so much more but the playing system wasn’t setup for me to do what I do best. That’s fine, it just powered me to work on my game while I was there so that I would be ready for whatever came next. We accomplished a lot as a team and I know I made crucial plays throughout my career there. I have the respect of my teammates and that’s enough for me. That chapter of my life was important to my development as a player’, warned Jordan Hill. His toughest loss was lto Duke and he showed his team player qualities with the limited role that he had. ‘I gave my teammates hell while I was on the practice squad. I got a lot of buckets in practice and made the first team run a few times. That everyday work was necessary. Wisconsin is a program that is always more prepared than the opponent and that starts in how detailed we are in scouting reports, the aggression we play with in practice, and the brotherhood we built in the locker room’, remembered Jordan Hill.
The American who lists his 5 best teammates of all-time as Nigel Hayes, Vitto Brown, Bronson Koenig, Frank Kaminsky, and Traevon Jackson didn’t finish career at Wisconsin, but opted for a new challenge and played his senior year with the University Of Seattle playing 32 games averaging 14.1ppg, 3.9rpg, 3.5apg, 1.2spg, FGP: 43.4%, 3PT: 37.6%, FT: 77.2%. He finally got many minutes and could display the kind of player he really was, which he couldn’t display at Wisconsin. ‘I had the ball in my hands every time down the court. The game began and ended with my decision making. I loved that feeling of being the master of my destiny. I was allowed the freedom to figure things out on the court. I was more mature when I got to Seattle because I had 4 years of high-level basketball experience. There was no way for me to really fail if you ask me. I am destined for greatness and my time at Seattle U was the beginning of that process I believe’, stated Jordan Hill. He scored in double figures in 24 games and scored 26 points against Grand Canyon and 24 points against New Mexico State. He had a stretch in December where he played his best basketball there averaging 22ppg in wins against schools St Martin’s. Portland State and Nicholls. ‘I was shooting the ball very well at the time. I put together a really good stretch of games. I was shooting almost 48% from 3 until the conference season. I think I was getting whatever I want on the court. There’s another level I can tap into though’, warned Jordan Hill. All in all, he has many fond memories at the University of Seattle and even a few years later still has certain games fresh in his mind. ‘I think the win against N Mexico State at home in Key Arena is probably the most memorable games I’ve played. I got it done in the clutch with my teammates and we needed the win. It was tough but those are always my most favorite games. I put up 26 against Grand Canyon in a loss and 19 against Washington in a loss. Both games I think I played really really well. I shot it great in both games. I had about 5 3s against Washington and 4 against Grand Canyon. Although they were losses, those were some of my favorite games’, expressed Jordan Hill. He remembers winning and losing one on one duels against teammate Richaud Gittens, but he said a very interesting thing that no other player has ever said to me. Nobody has ever groomed him for anything except for his father, but his ex coach Jim Hayford did prepare him for a professional basketball career. ‘Jim Hayford gave me the keys to make a memorable season out of my time at Seattle U and I am forever thankful for that. It means a lot for a coach to trust in you and Coach Hayford trusted me to lead the team in the right direction. We got to 20 wins and that is a hell of an accomplishment for a team that had never played together before’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also will never forget the Kentucky team he battled that was filled with many future NBA players especially current Phoenix Sun Devin Booker. ‘Devin Booker just looked different out on the court. His skill level is so crazy. You just knew you were watching a pro’, said Jordan Hill.
The American who last watched Bad Boys 3 began his professional season in 2018-2019 with Michelin Etha Engomis Nicosia (Cyprus-Division A) playing 11 games averaging 10.5ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.9apg, 2FGP: 50.0%, 3FGP: 27.1%, FT: 92.3%. Even if he was in Europe for the first time, it wasn’t that much of a culture shock. ‘I think after the first week in Cyprus I realized that I was a long way from home and I wasn’t coming back any time soon. I have been living on my own since about 17 so it didn’t necessarily bother me to be far from home and alone. I think the daily practices and interactions with the coaching staff told me a lot about what I need to do to be professional and improve my game’, stressed Jordan Hill. He also was fortunate not to be the lone American on the team which can happen. Instead he was joking around on a daily basis and hanging out with 4 other Americans which made life in a foreign country a lot easier. ‘I loved playing with 4 other Americans. It made getting through the tough days a lot easier because I could relate to my teammates very naturally. We had a lot of fun and still stay in contact with each other. I think a lot of people in Cyprus speak English so the language barrier didn’t become as much of a problem as one might think’, added Jordan Hill. He played his second professional season in South America with Basquete Blumenau/APAB (Brazil-Liga Ouro) playing 7 games averaging 9.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.4apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 45.5%, 3PT: 23.3%, FT: 57.1. Usually Americans in the latter part of their career’s will head to South America to make some last money, but seeing Brasil and it’s basketball early in his career was an eye opener. ‘Playing in Brazil was a different experience. Unfortunately I was unable to play more than 7 games during my time there because of a little injury. However, in the time that I was there, I learned a lot about myself and a culture I knew nothing about. The style of play in Brazil is different than in America. The players are very passionate and very unselfish. My team ran a lot of offense and did a lot of passing before looking to score. I played in Liga Ouro which is a good league with a lot of good players. It was very physical and demanded a lot out of you on both sides of the ball’, remembered Jordan Hill.
He is playing his third professional season in the German fourth division with the Bringiton Ballers Ibbenburen. There is no arrogance or embarrassment about playing in such a low league, but instead his feelings are as if he just won the lottery. ‘I am beyond blessed. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity to continue my playing career and learn about a different culture. This is my first time spending some significant time in Europe so I am looking forward to the experience’, warned Jordan Hill. He has already demonstrated that he is a team player so versatility is something that he takes a lot of pride in. ‘Versatility is key for me. I am a player who can affect both sides of the ball. I have the ability to lockdown other players as well as rebound, pass, LEAD, play in transition, and get in passing lanes. I am not looking to be a one-man show. I like to see my teammates score and play confidently. I want to be known as a two way player not just an offensive threat’, stated Jordan Hill. After 3 games and 24 minutes per game, he has put up very respectable stats averaging 13,7ppg, 2,7rpg, 5,0apg and 1,3spg. His shot selection has been excellent as he is shooting 56% from the parking lot (6/11). Despite his current hot shooting, he always wants to get better at shooting. ‘I try to get up as many shots as possible whenever I can. I wish there was someone to always rebound, haha it would make it a bit easier. I feel my shot is above average regardless of my percentage. In college I shot the ball very well and made big threes in very clutch situations. I know what I am capable of. There will be plenty of opportunities to show that. My shooting will allow me to open of the floor. It is always a threat and my confidence in my shot will not waiver. If I am a threat from 3, I can get to any spot I want to on the court’, warned Jordan Hill. In order to continue to be that complete player and be versatile, he is never working only on one area of his game. ‘I am constantly working on every part of my game. I always want to improve my shooting and ball handling. Those are the foundation for expanding my game. I think I am in a position now where I can do more scoring than anything else. So with that focus I am paying close attention to the game film and finding places I can be the most aggressive’, commented Jordan Hill. In Ibbenburen, the American will have a lot of free time to keep working on his game. His focus and work ethic are huge, but so is his chip on his shoulder. He has big goals in Ibbenburen. ‘I always have a chip on my shoulder. That’s never going anywhere. People have doubted me no matter where I played. That doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t matter the level. Wherever I am, I will show and prove. This is the 4th league and I know what I am capable of accomplishing. We can win this league. That is my focus. Everything else will fall into place as it’s supposed to’, warned Jordan Hill. And maybe for once an American won’t average 20,0ppg in the Regionalliga. It’s not always about the stats, but in Hill’s case it’s about winning and just getting better each day while showcasing the full package.