I had the privilege of seeing the ex Penn(NCAA) standout Michael Hakim Jordan play for the first time in the 2005 easyCredit playoffs as he bowed out against the Deutsche Bank Skyliners with the Artland Dragons. I would continue to cover his illustrious playing career in Germany all the way up to 2011 when he retired and saw him win the BBL title with RheinEnergie Koln in 2006 and also covered his game when he won the German assist crown in 2009 and when he played with Phoenix Hagen, MBC and Giessen. He didn´t take a long break between being a professional and taking the next step in the real world and quickly became an assistant coach with Colgate in 2012 where he helped the Raiders rebuild their program in the 8 years that he was there. The basketball program made big strides in the last years having a 68-34 record in the last 3 seasons and in 2019 the club won the Patriot League title and reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996. His duties included recruiting, player development and coaching which helped him shape and develop 9 players that would go on to play professionally. After 8 successful years at Colgate, he has made the next step and returned home to the city of brotherly love Philadelphia and is an assistant coach at Drexel(NCAA). There was one distinct moment in 2010 where one could have imagined that Michael Jordan could one day go into coaching. It was during the 2009-2010 season and his club then Phoenix Hagen was playing a regular season game in Frankfurt in early spring. Phoenix Hagen wasn´t having a great season and had brought Jordan in to help save a sinking ship in December 2009. Jordan didn´t play that day, because he was injured. I remember conducting some small talk with him before the contest and 20 minutes later, the basketball world would later see the legendary Jordan tantrum in the locker room as head coach Ingo Freyer and assistant Steven Wriedt were still on the bench looking over the stat sheet concerning the 44-27 Frankfurt lead at the break. Jordan strolled into the locker room sporting a Philadelphia Phillies sweat shirt and cap and chewed out his teammates. This amazing locker room tirade was captured for the great basketball documentary Phoenix In Der Asche which followed Phoenix Hagen´s 2009-2010season. Jordan played a major role in the documentary and was all fired up in the locker room as he tried to knock some sense into his teammates. One of his classic lines was “We have 20 minutes. We may not win, but play with some Fu*ken heart. Fuk somebody up”! 10 years later, I still love watching this classic moment as it is one of those behind the doors experiences that you don´t see every day. 10 years later, Jordan is a coach moving up the ladder and has been invited to the Miles basketball Minute Scouting Report. One of the many players at Colgate that profited under his guidance was Will Rayman that plays with German professional team BG Goettingen that won the 2010 Eurochallenge.
Rayman was born on April 1st in New York city. His began his basketball career at Millbrook and before going to University, he got an extra year of basketball grooming at the New Hampton Prep School. He then went on to play at Colgate University from 2016-2020 amassing a total of 134 NCAA games. He started as a guard in high school, but made a huge growth spurt in his senior year. He came to Colgate having a solid perimeter game, but had to get adjusted to new aspects of the game, because of his growth spurt. He worked hard and grew into a very good forward at Colgate. He demonstrated as a freshman that he had the game to compete at the NCAA level as he played 31 games averaging 14.0ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.0apg, FGP: 47.7%, 3PT: 39.2%, FT: 68.0%. He scored in double figures in 22 games and scored 20 points or more 6 times. He had huge scoring games against Penn State with 28 points in a losing cause and scorched Army with 28 points. His extraordinary first season allowed him to garner the awards All-Patriot League Rookie of the Year and Patriot League All-Rookie Team. In his sophomore season he was able to make another step as he upped his rebounding and shot over 40% from outside for the first time playing 33 games averaging 14.7ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.1apg, 1.0spg, FGP: 47.5%, 3PT: 41.8%, FT: 80.7%. He scored in double figures in 26 games and mastered 20 points or more in 6 games. He had a few massive games including having Army´s number again netting 29 points, hit American for 25 points in a victory and had 23 points in a win against UMBC: he showed in his first 2 seasons that he could be a consistent scorer, but his game encompassed so much more. “Will’s biggest strengths are his high motor, his length and size, his defensive prowess and his ability to play inside and out. He’s a matchup problem. He does whatever you ask him to do. He only wants to win”, warned ex Colgate assistant coach Michael Jordan”. But another huge strength in his game is his work ethic, an asset that is always important, because that is what controls how far a basketball player can climb the basketball ladder in his professional career. He was a guy that would sneak into the gym on team off days late at night at Colgate to get extra work done. Head coach Matt Langel had to remove him from the court. That is how dedicated he was to always get better. I remember watching him play in early January 2018 at Boston University where Colgate lost 72-58. He didn´t have a great game scoring only 7 points and grabbing 9 rebounds, but his versatile game then did catch my eye. After his second season he achieved more awards like All-Patriot League 2nd Team , Patriot League All-Tournament Team, and NABC NCAA D1 All-District 13 2nd Team.
In his junior season, he played 35 games averaging 13.1ppg, 6.5rpg, 1.5apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 42.9%, FT: 68.1%. He scored in double figures in 27 games and registered 20 points or more in 6 games. His best scoring games occurred against Boston University where he poured in 26 points in a 81-69 win, hit Loyola Maryland with 24 points in an exciting 75-72 win and scored 23 points in a 76-56 victory over Army. He had his second straight season eclipsing the 40% mark from outside and being able to achieve that didn´t come form snapping his fingers. “He put in the work to become the player and shooter that he is. I’m sure it will only improve because he’s going to continue to work at it. He’s just that type of kid”, warned Drexel(NCAA) assistant coach Michael Jordan. He continued to pick up additional awards after his junior year like All-Patriot League 2nd Team, Patriot League All-Tournament Team, Patriot League All-Tournament Team, Patriot League All-Defensive Team, Patriot League Regular Season Co-Champion and Patriot League Tournament Winner As a senior he played 34 games averaging 12.6ppg, 9.0rpg, 1.7apg, 1.0bpg, FGP: 51.1%, 3PT: 35.9%, FT: 80.0%. He scored in double figures in 21 games and scored 20 points or more in 21 games and scored 27 points in a loss against Loyola Maryland and had 25 points in a win over Holy Cross. His scoring went down, but he became more of a beast on the boards and he also became more of an impact player on the defensive end. It was never boring at Colgate practices. I saw a few Colgate games at Boston University over the last years and Jordan wasn´t only responsible for the development for so many players, but also had the ability to use his unique character and personality to put some fun into the sometimes difficult college basketball process. It is great that he kept his special personality one that I witnessed often when he was playing overseas. “Will’s size length and athleticism bothers a lot of players. He covers a lot of ground. You think your open and then here comes his 6-10 wingspan and it changes your shot. He won´t change my shot though, I mean I’ll give Will 40 points”, joked ex Colgate assistant coach Michael Jordan. After averaging 14,0 ppg in his first two seasons, his scoring average went down. He didn´t grow into that explosive scorer, but there were reasons for that. Not having a big ego played a big role with Colgate and professional teams in the future will also profit from it. “Honestly as a staff we knew his scoring would go down because we started to surround him with other guys that could also score. To his credit he didn’t complain one time about his touches and attempts going down. Like I said earlier he just wanted to do whatever was needed for our team to be successful”, stressed warned ex Artland Dragon player Michael Jordan.. He picked up new awards after his senior year like NABC NCAA D1 All-District 13 2nd Team, Patriot League All-Defensive Team, All-Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and All-Patriot League 1st Team -20 He finished his 4 years at Colgate(NCAA) career averaging 13,7ppg and 6,7rpg. Jordan coached Rayman for 4 years and will always remember exactly how his game developed from day 1 until the last day. “Will has always been a hard worker so we knew he would a special player because he would put in the work that it takes. He improved on something new every year”, warned ex Phoenix Hagen guard Michael Jordan.
Rayman began his professional career overseas in Estonia with Tartu Ulikool Maks & Moorits (Estonia) playing 8 games averaging 22.5ppg, 9.5rpg, 2.1apg, 1.5spg, 1.3bpg, 2FGP: 53.9%, 3FGP: 41.4%, FT: 77.4% . As the stats show, the forward needed absolute no adjustment period. He scored in double figures in 7 of 8 games, scored more than 20 points 5 times and had more than 30 points 3 times. He had a 34/11 explosion in a wipe out win over Kalev/TLU, and then scored 33 points against the same team again. He also scored 31 points and had 12 rebounds in a tough 76-74 loss against Rapla. The club had a 4-4 record with Rayman. Sometimes even when a player is putting up huge stats for a team, in the end it doesn´t necessarily mean that it´s a right fit. The American left Estonia and moved on to BG Goettingen. Belgium head coach Roel Moors of BG Goettingen is thrilled to have scooped up the American and knows exactly how he will help his club be successful. “He gives us more options at the position 4. He is a good shooter and has a very good basketball understanding”, stressed Roel Moors. Of course at the age of 23, sky is still the limit for him and he can still improve much in his game, but Michael Jordan wasn´t about to give opposing BBL teams an edge over his ex player. “I’m not going to give his opponents the scouting report on how to defend him but he knows what he needs to get better at doing. We’ve discussed it”, warned Michael Jordan. Rayman showed that he could be a wrecking crew in Estonia, but so far in the German BBL, he hans´t been able to make his mark yet averaging only 4,3ppg and 3,0rpg in 14 minutes. Despite the slow start, Jordan is convinced that his ex player has a big future ahead of him. “I think he will have a very long and successful career and he will do good things in the BBL. He loves the game and he plays it the right way. Good things happen for guys like him”. Stressed ex Colgate(NCAA) assistant coach Michael Jordan. Jordan has started a new chapter in his coaching career at Drexel(NCAA) while his ex player Will Rayman has begun a new chapter with BG Goettingen. One thing that nobody will ever be able to take away are the memories that these 2 individuals shared especially for Jordan. “My fondest moment is when we won the Patriot League Championship in 2019. To see the joy on his face at that moment was priceless. To see all his hard work he put in paid off and he accomplished one of his many goals”, remembered Drexel(NCAA) assistant coach Michael Jordan.