Sports

Ben Jordan, Former Kentucky basketball player and Wildcats baseball pitcher, dies at 22

Kentucky baseball pitcher and previous basketball stroll on Ben Jordan has died, the school affirmed Tuesday morning.

Jordan, a 22-year-old, 6-foot-9, 250-pound right-handed pitcher for the baseball team, joined the men’s b-ball group last season when the Wildcats were left with too not many solid post players for training.

The previous baseball and ball star at West Carter High School in Olive Hill didn’t re-visitation of the b-ball group this season so he could zero in on baseball full time.

“We are devastated to learn of Ben Jordan’s tragic passing last night,” UK baseball coach Nick Mingione said in a statement. “There are no words to express the shock and heartache our team is feeling with the loss of Ben. He was an absolute joy to coach and be around. His coaches, teammates and brothers loved him dearly. His smile, his sense of humor and love for this university will never be forgotten. He will be missed beyond measure. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben’s family and we will support them in any way we can during this extremely difficult time. We are all hurting and will find a way carry Ben’s legacy forward and keep him in our heart always.”

A 2016 Under Armor All-American in baseball at West Carter, Jordan redshirted in his first season nearby with the baseball program in 2018 while recuperating from Tommy John elbow a medical procedure.

He got back to the hill in 2019 to show up in 10 games while working his way back to full wellbeing.

Jordan featured in the Cal Ripken College Baseball League throughout the late spring of 2019, gathering a 1-1 record with a 2.70 ERA in seven games. He struck out 36 hitters and strolled 13 out of 26 ⅔ innings.

At the point when UK ball mentor John Calipari was ineffective in adding another grant huge man to his 2019-20 program all through the mid year prompting the season, he went to Jordan to add practice profundity.

Kentucky had just nine sound grant players accessible for preseason practice.

“We said, why don’t we add Michael Jordan to our team. We couldn’t get him so we took Ben Jordan,” Calipari said after Jordan joined the team. “And he’s 6-9, and he’s got a great way about him, a great disposition, and obviously I keep telling EJ (Montgomery), as soon as he gets in a little better shape he’s going to be dunking on you.”

Jordan served a significant practice part all through the season in assisting junior with sending Nick Richards to a breakout season. He likewise played in three games for the Wildcats, endeavoring one shot in one all out moment of activity.

“Our hearts are broken today,” Calipari said in a statement Tuesday. “We learned early this morning that we have lost Ben Jordan. It is difficult for me to express and to put into words what a tragedy it is to lose a young person too early. Ben impacted our team last season in so many ways with his kind heart, his big smile and his wonderful personality. He cared so deeply about this place and it meant so much to him to be a part of this team. We are grieving today over the loss of a teammate and a brother, but Ben will not be forgotten. We ask that everyone keep Ben and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this time as we try to find a way forward. Ben, may you rest in peace.”

UK recorded Jordan on its 35-man lineup for the 2020 ball club, yet he had not completed his b-ball commitments to continue playing baseball when the Covid pandemic finished the season in March.

“It is with profound grief that we learn of the loss of Ben Jordan,” UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “Ben loved and cherished being a Wildcat. He had a servant’s heart and answered the call whenever asked, including putting his promising baseball career on hold to help the basketball team when it needed him. I remember meeting Ben on his official visit to our campus and being so impressed with his passion for this state and the University of Kentucky. He will be missed immensely. Our prayers and condolences are with Ben’s family and friends.”