There was never a shadow intentionally cast over Jordan Davis.
It somehow appeared through no fault of his own while he played at Central High School.
Escaping the shadow created by his twin brother Johnny during those years was impossible, no matter your name. The top college coaches in the country knew Johnny, and it was easy for him to control their focuses during tournaments against the best prospects in the country.
So Jordan continued to be Jordan. He scored more than 1,000 points, routinely matched up with opponents’ top players and helped Central win 94 games and a WIAA Division 2 state championship.
A scholarship to the University of Wisconsin followed, and he watched his brother’s stock skyrocket as a Badger. Johnny turned into the Big Ten Player of the Year and a first-round draft choice of the Washington Wizards.
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Jordan gained as much as he could from his brother’s situation, and the goal moving forward is to shine while emerging from that shadow.
“It’s sad to see your best friend — because he’s also like my best friend — go off and do his own thing,” Jordan said of Johnny. “I’m happy for him, and it’s not goodbye, it’s a see ya later.
“But I’m just excited to be Jordan Davis and make a name for myself and get the (playing time) I think I deserve.”
The two will take a short break from starting their own paths in life this week with a return to La Crosse for the three-day Davis Brothers and FoxBall Camp that starts at Central on Monday. The second installment of a camp that began last summer has a three-hour morning session for girls and a three-hour afternoon session for boys.
After that, Jordan goes back to showing Wisconsin coach Greg Gard and his staff that he is ready for a much bigger role on the court.
After playing in 13 games as a true freshman, Jordan doubled that to 27 as a sophomore. He has scored 43 points (1.1 per game) and made 10 of 33 attempts from the 3-point line in those 40 games.
A unique offseason followed, and that gives reason to believe that the next opportunity he receives can be different.
Jordan accompanied Johnny to Miami for a pre-draft camp over the summer. That gave him a month of exposure to competition against a host of players who now have spots on NBA rosters.
“It was the middle of May through the middle of June,” Jordan said. “It was getting up at 6 a.m. every day and working out until 5 p.m. At that, you are getting your (butt) handed to you all day.”
Jordan was invited to join the workouts and was asked to stay for the entire camp after a week of showing his dedication to the program.
“I was getting really good work in there,” Jordan said. “I was the only (returning) college kid there. (Gard) said I had to take advantage, soak up everything I could and come back (to Madison) ready to play.”
Work ethic has never been the issue for Jordan, who quickly became known for the time he spent shooting on the Kohl Center court after games.
“There isn’t one thing that I can’t get better at, so I really work on my overall game,” Jordan said. “My shooting, my ball handling, my agility. I’ve worked on all of that and my weight lifting.
“I’m ready to make an impact in any way I can.”
Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX