For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect Jordan Ross, from Salt Lake City, Utah:
Pro Insight: Can you talk about your background?
Jordan Ross: I was born in Beaverton, Oregon and moved here when I was 3 or 4. I was in Layton, Utah, and I have two little brothers & two little sisters. When I got to around 4th grade we adopted my best friend to be my older brother, Isaac (Vaha). Two little sisters, two little brothers, and then Isaac is my older brother. We were in Layton, Utah, for a while until I was going to be a freshman and we moved down to Lone Peak, but the coach left so we came here (Pleasant Grove, UT).
PI: With your brother Isaac Vaha being a two-sport standout and high-level football recruit, how do you guys push each other?
JR: I guess at the start it was really just a competition because I got my two offers before he had any and then after that he just had 20 (offers) out of nowhere, which is cool, but we’re always in the gym together lifting, basketball, well now it’s football season so, I did conditioning work with him, but now it’s just lifting together and stuff like that.
PI: How would you describe the basketball culture in Utah?
JR: In Utah? I mean it’s O.K. It’s mainly like zones and stuff like that. Not really 1-on-1, ‘get in your bag’ type of stuff, but it’s cool...it works for me.
PI: What are some things you’ve been working on this offseason?
JR: Really just trying to put on weight, getting bigger coming into my sophomore year. So really just weight training stuff, dieting, stuff like that. While lifting just trying to keep my shot and my touch...so form shooting and work like that.
PI: What do you feel like you need to show next season?
JR: Coming into next season I’m trying to show that I can score. Everyone knows that I can pass, run a team and an offense, but coming into my sophomore year I’m trying to show people that I’m a threat to score the ball and to run the court.
PI: Describe your game. What are your greatest strengths?
JR: Probably just ball-handling and staying poised under pressure. Playing the right way, hitting the right man when he’s open, running the team, making sure everybody is in the right spots.
PI: What aspects of your game are underrated?
JR: Probably my 3-ball. People play up off me because they’re scared I’m going to blow by them. With my 3, I feel disrespected sometimes, but I still torch it up usually so it plays both ways.
PI: Who are some players you try and model your game after?
JR: I try to play like Chris Paul, I like how he can create shots for himself and teammates coming off of ball-screens and in transition so Chris Paul is someone I really look up to. If I were to say another one it would probably be Kemba Walker. I like his 1-on-1 mix stuff...Kemba is a big one for me.
PI: How did you get plugged in with Ronnie Price?
JR: My parents are family friends. I’ve known him since I was a little kid so it just worked out like that.
PI: What’s the best advice he’s given you?
JR: That the little things matter...like eye movement and jolting into your moves and stuff like that...the last dribble into your shot really counts for your form and release and stuff like that.
PI: What’s the update with your recruitment?
JR: Well other than the two offers from Cal Poly and Washington State, Stanford has been on me, LSU has been on me, Wake Forest has been on me. BYU has reached out a lot, and I’ve been talking a lot to the Utah State coach, too. Other than that, that’s basically what it’s been.
PI: What are some things you are looking for in a school?
JR: Education. I always want a plan B if basketball doesn’t work out and I want a great education. I want to go to law school and stuff like that. Of course, what recruits are going into the school, my teammates, and who I would be competing against all matter. And also where I want to live for a year or two years, just the location too. That matters, as well.
PI: What about some things on the court?
JR: I want to play in a system that fits me: ball-screens, tempo, pace, that’s what I like to play.
PI: Do you have a dream school?
JR: I would really like to play for Kentucky. And then Stanford is way up there, too. I would really like to play for Stanford.
PI: What has your experience been like with Vegas Elite?
JR: Going out to Vegas to play with the kids there compared to Utah ball is a big difference. It’s more athleticism, length, and show. It’s good to play both...it’s pretty fun.
PI: Who are some of the toughest players you’ve had to guard over the years?
JR: For high school, Bingham’s point guard Jordan Toscano: he’s shifty, that’s tough to guard. In AAU, I’ve guarded so many people here it’s tough to think of, probably someone from out of state, but for high school, probably Bingham’s PG...that’s about it.
PI: How have guys like Ronnie Price and Jason Richardson helped you out?
JR: With them it’s just like the little things, everyone knows like working your bag, shooting, passing, all that stuff...but with them it’s like the little things, the little details, like change of pace off of ball-screens, how to read a defense, stuff like that.
PI: What are your short term goals?
JR: I want to be Mr. Basketball, at least twice. I’m trying to get it sophomore, junior, or senior year. I want to win a state championship. This year we’re a contender, we’ve got a great team. A lot of us came back so we’ll be straight this year. I want to win a state championship, I want to win Mr. Basketball, and I really just want to put on weight and get stronger so I can achieve those things because when you’re bigger it becomes easier.
PI: How about long term?
JR: I want to go to college and be successful, go deep in the tournament, and get drafted...stuff like that.
PI: Talk about a moment or time in your life when you faced adversity. What did you take away from that experience?
JR: Probably my freshman season, here. I started and I got a lot of hate from parents for that, my own teammates, and had a lot of people doubting me. Like in practice or in games they wouldn’t look for me which was difficult, but I have to stay true to myself and play how I play and it turned out just fine.
PI: How did you overcome that?
JR: Just adapting to it, really...I didn’t pay attention to it, I didn’t hold a grudge, I just did me. So if they overlooked me then it was like “okay, I’m going to get a bucket next time.” Like if I pass it and I get it back then I’m going to get a bucket.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you want to be remembered for?
JR: Just leadership, really...how I led the team and played the game the right way because nowadays it’s really flashy and stuff like that. There aren’t many players who play the game the right way and I just want to be remembered as someone who played the game the correct way.