It was only a few days after Thanksgiving 2020 and I was in very good spirits considering the tough circumstances with Covid that had rocked the world since 9 months and I had gotten the shock of my life only a few weeks earlier of having been diagnosed with cancer. The only thing that was really keeping me going was my family and basketball. I had began to cover the EPG Baskets Koblenz in this season and was excited to go to a game that weekend where they were playing against the BIS Baskets Speyer. I interview so many guys, but that doesn’t mean that I always do it face to face or on the phone. I had interviewed Jordan Rezendes (188-PG-1992, college: UMass Dartmouth) online in 2018 when he was balling in his second pro season with Cuxhaven and had never seen him play or met him. I looked on the Koblenz schedule and saw Speyer and as usual I checked the roster with what players I would have the pleasure of dealing with. There I saw the name Jordan Rezendes and was flashed remembering our nice interview and now I could finally see him play. I was in the school gym of the EPG Baskets where they played before moving into the incredible CGM arena about 30 minutes before tip off and instantly became disappointed when I didn’t see him warming up. It turned out that he had injured himself a month earlier. I hadn’t heard the news mainly because I had had my own woes and hadn’t heard about his injury. Speyer sure could of used him on that day as his scoring qualities could of got them over the hump as they lost a tight 72-68 game. 20 months later nothing has changed as the Wareham native which is 50 minutes from Boston and 45 minutes from Providence still hasn’t played a professional game yet. Missing almost 2 seasons can be as long in a pro player’s career like it is for a normal person working say 10 years 9-5. ‘It has been a tough two years but I needed it. I used this time to get in the best shape possible and I feel better than ever’, stressed Jordan Rezendes. The good news is that he is 100% healthy again and is back and wants people to be shocked at the different kind of player he has become.
I reach the American who lists local New England hero’s like Pat Connaughton, Shabazz Napier and Rickey Ledo as his toughest opponents in his career during the dog days of summer in July and am excited to talk basketball with him and inquire how he is and just how he has been keeping busy. But at first, I fling an obscure number at him with 29. I mean 2 years is a long time to remember random numbers and he couldn’t categorize my jiberish. Anyway I relieve him out of this cat and mouse suffering and remind him it was his 29 points that he scored in his second to last game with Speyer against Oberaching in October 2020 before he got injured. ‘To be honest I don’t really remember this game but 29 is cool but I hope we won’, laughed Jordan Rezendes. Well at least he kept his humor. Unfortunately Speyer lost the game 103-99. When you have been out as long as he has, you try not to think about what could have been had he not gotten injured, but it’s simply tough when many of your friends and peers are playing overseas and he isn’t. ‘Of course I think about the what ifs but I understand that injuries happen. I’m just blessed to be back on the court. This injury has made me a better player/person on and off the court’, said Jordan Rezendes. So far as a professional he had displayed his special abilities where ever he had played. As a rookie he came to Germany and played with with SG TV Duerkheim-BB-Int. Speyer (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 25.4ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.2apg, 2.6spg, FGP: 60.0%, 3PT: 38.1%, FT: 85.3% and then proved again that he can lead a team playing with Cuxhaven (Germany-Regionalliga) averaging 23.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.8spg, FGP: 52.8%, 3PT: 39.4%, FT: 84.4%. In his third professional season he went a totaly different path and played with Fap de Yaounde (Cameroon-D1) averaging13.9ppg, 3.0rpg, Assists-5 (4.0apg), 1.5spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 34.5%, FT: 73.7%. He came back for his fourth season and joined Speyer and was on his way to having another great season before his injury erupted. ‘I miss the grind a lot. I believe before covid I was on my way to play in a higher league. My goal is to play at the highest league possible’, stressed Jordan Rezendes.
The first matter of business in the last 20 months was for the ex Mass.-Dartmouth (NCAA3) stand out who said why after watching the sequel to the classic Coming To America, but after the second viewing actually liked it was to get healthy again, but somehow he couldn’t totally shake the injury bug. He never stopped trying to reach out to teams in this time and it wasn’t easy keeping his name on the radar. ‘After my groin injury in 2020. I came back 100 percent then I tore my ACL in March of 2021. Covid played a huge role in the injuries because I wasn’t able to be in the gym like I normally was. But I’m 100 percent now and I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m ready to get back on the court’, warned Jordan Rezendes. Obviously when you aren’t playing for an organization, you get more involved with yourself in the quest to come back, but that itch to play is always there as well as the trepidation if a team will ever sign him again. Getting the body ready and being mentally stable isn’t always easy, but he searched for solutions and found them. ‘When I first suffered my ACL injury it was tough for me mentally. I asked myself why all the time. Now that I am 100 percent healthy I know the reason why. I’ve learned how to take care of my body on and off the court. My diet and workouts have changed. I am a totally different person’, expressed Jordan Rezendes. It also doesn’t help that he plays a position that is very very occupied world wise. Great guards are all over the place. Just look at local colleagues Shabazz Napier and Eric Demers. Napier should be in the NBA, but instead has chosen the path overseas while Demers is a talented guard that should be playing at a high level overseas, but is still searching for the next challenge. ‘Eric is my guy and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I just hooped with him the other day and his game has got a lot better! His bag is getting serious! He’s been working! Eric will fit on any team. He is a true hooper and will find his role on any team whether it’s the G league or overseas’, warned Jordan Rezendes. The statement that there are way too many talented guards in the world and too little spots is very credible and realistic. ‘It’s all about timing and being in the right situation. We have a lot of tough guards in the states but there’s not a lot that can shoot / defend/ handle and play make like I do’, warned Jordan Rezendes.
The 30 year old that had had Jordan, Lebron, Shaq and Magic on his personal NBA Mount Rushmore in 2018, but since Steph Curry won his 4th title would have him on there now and has him as the best point guard of all-time has kept busy in the last years. Not only has he been a dog in the lab grinding but also found ways to offer his basketball wisdom. He never lost contact to his coach Steve Faniel from Wareham high school. ‘My life has changed but it’s still in the basketball field. I coached at my former high-school. I also train kids and put together some camps. I ran a pick up run that had all the top players in this area. Hosted basketball tournaments and events. I also referee. I’m staying busy but just on the other side of playing while I was rehabbing’, commented Jordan Rezendes. He has been a rat in the lab and his habits have changed in the last 4 years. ‘In 2018 I worked hard but it was smart. My focus now is to work smarter not harder. Right now I am working out 2-3 times a day. I do boxing in the morning then hit the court after. Also add a lift in there. I eat a lot healthier than I did in 2018. I’m preparing myself to be a totally different player. I want people to be shocked at the work that I have put in. I’ve never worked so hard in my life . I’m hungrier than I have ever been. I just want to thank everyone who has been in my corner. I am ready for my next step! I’m excited for people to see the new version of me. Whatever team takes a chance on me will be excited and shocked at the player I am’, warned Jordan Rezendes. His basketball abilities could help many teams overseas right now. He wasn’t only getting fit again, but also used his time to help other people. Not only would his scoring talent and leadership aid any team now, but his top class character would also enrich any organization.