Report: Kentucky two-sport athlete has died
Tragic news his Kentucky this morning when multiple outlets reported that a two-sport athlete with the Wildcats has died. Ben Jordan, a baseball and former basketball player, was 22.
Jordan played basketball for the Wildcats during the 2019–2020 season, and appeared in two games.
As a freshman at UK in 2019, the 6-foot-9 Jordan played for the baseball Wildcats pitching 8.2 innings and pitched a scoreless inning against nationally-ranked Vanderbilt to close out the 2019 season.
Cats Pause reported that it was announced over the summer that Jordan would not return to the basketball team and would instead focus on baseball. Calipari was thankful to have Jordan on the roster as UK was short on big men in 2019-20.
“I really appreciate Ben helping our team and agreeing to be a part of this,” Calipari said. “He has a great demeanor and a way about him that really fits in well with this team. The guys already have embraced him as one of our own. I think he’ll be a great addition to this team.”
A native of Olive Hill, Kentucky (West Carter), Jordan had Tommy John surgery his senior year, which took him off most draft boards. He enrolled at UK but redshirted as a freshman in 2018. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, Jordan appeared in 10 games and was expected to be a bullpen piece for Kentucky’s 2021 baseball team.
“Like so many others in the state of Kentucky, basketball has been a part of my life since I was just a kid,” Jordan said upon joining the basketball team. “When the opportunity presented itself to join the UK basketball team, I wanted to go into it with an open mind, especially since I stepped away from the sport to focus on baseball. After a couple of days of practice, it’s clear to me that this is something I want to commit to. Baseball has been and will remain my top priority, but I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge of competing in two sports I love to play. I’ve talked to Coach (Nick) Mingione about it and we did this with his full blessing. I’m looking forward to helping in practice and being a great teammate this season.”