Kevin Stiner | September 14, 2023
Jordan Earns Unprecedented Award
Colby Jordan secured an academic honor for men’s basketball unmatched by prior generations of Golden Eagles.
A trophy case full of conference championships, NCAA tournament plaques, and All-American honors provide proof that there are few accomplishments and awards that the SUNY Brockport Men’s Basketball team have yet to earn. However, last season as a sophomore Colby Jordan did something no Golden Eagle before him had done in the team’s more than 90 years of existence when he claimed the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Elite 20 award.
The SUNYAC Elite 20 award recognizes the individual with the top grade-point average (GPA) competing in one of its 20 conference championships, which mirrors the NCAA Elite 90 award that honors the top-GPA of an individual participating at the finals for one of its 90 championships.
With six minutes left in warmups before the start of the 2022-23 SUNYAC semifinal game against Cortland, Brockport’s head coach Greg Dunne pulled Jordan aside. Dunne didn’t launch into a pep-talk with his starting point guard on ball security or the importance of setting the tempo early against the Red Dragons, but he pulled him aside to talk about the award he won and that he was the first Golden Eagle ever to do so. Although the talk wasn’t intended to help Jordan set the tempo, he did with a steal, fastbreak basket, and an assist on consecutive possessions to help Brockport to a 4-0 lead en route to a 65-53 victory.
“Winning that award meant everything to me,” said Jordan. “It was a blessing being mentioned as an Elite 20 winner knowing that I put so much time, effort, and sacrifice into the game, and the classroom.
“Knowing that I’m the first person in Brockport to win that award is something that won’t be forgotten and lived on forever. It showed how all my hard work in the classroom and being a starter on a 20-win team paid off.”
The sports management major enters his junior year with a 3.52 GPA while also minoring in business. Jordan credits his coaches, teammates, and faculty for helping him to succeed, but especially coach Seth Johnston ’08/’14, who also is the Assistant Director of Transfer Credit Services within Brockport’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
“He is a person I am comfortable talking to about anything, whether it’s academics, basketball, or even life,” shared Jordan. “I remember last year I went up to him to see how I could improve and I remember he said, ‘You have to stay consistent. College basketball is about consistency. You are going to struggle, it’s part of the process but it’s about how you respond.’
“That’s something that has stuck with me to this day and I will always remember it and try to pass it down to younger players. Our relationship has grown to another level and I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for me.”
Starting point guards naturally ask questions on how to improve things on the court, but Jordan admits public speaking was the class that made the greatest impact in his academic journey. Initially talking about tough personal stories in front of the class was difficult, but the professor continued to challenge everyone.
“At first, it wasn’t easy but as time went on I got more and more comfortable,” said Jordan. “The professor made us become better public speakers. I feel like this will help my future because it allowed me to speak to people I don’t know and speak about uncomfortable things.”
Finding a way to approach uncomfortable conversations will be pivotal in Jordan’s future aspirations. He wants to stay in the sports world but instead of playing, he’d like to represent athletes as their agent. Negotiating contracts would combine his love of athletics and working with numbers.