's 7-foot wingspan wasn't wide enough, check out his exposure on the Internet. He's everywhere.
The all-everything 6-foot-8 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
senior forward is the No. 5 recruit in the country, which immediately sends him onto every college basketball junkie's Google Alert. Especially considering that he's uncommitted.
His finalists are Arizona, Kentucky and Washington.
A four-year starter for a two-time defending state champion, Gordon is a YouTube sensation for his endless array of spectacular dunks, highlighted Monday with
this beauty off an inbounds pass
at the HoopHall Classic
. He made ESPN's nightly Top 10 Plays list for the second time this season.
He had several highlight plays Monday en route to a 27-point, 12-rebound effort in front of a national television audience.
Even among a star-studded event that included No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins
, Sports Illustrated cover boy Jabari Parker
and the heroic efforts of Findlay Prep senior point guard Nigel Williams-Goss
, who posted an 18-point fourth-quarter including the game-winning buzzer-beater, some analysts still touted Gordon the top performer of the weekend.
But all of that fell on deaf ears to Gordon, whose Mitty squad was swamped by the nation's No. 2
team Lone Peak (Highland, Utah)
A 35-point defeat is an unchartered low for Mitty and Gordon — the Monarchs are 97-19 in his career — and as spectacularly as Lone Peak played and as high as it is ranked, the loss stung Gordon deep.
Which is probably why I like him so much. He's a superstar with a team manager ego. He's a combination of Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman — at the prep level of course — fiercely competitive, spectacular at times, but also blue collar and a grunt. He grabs every loose ball, follows every shot and is an absolute terror near the rim.
When the ball goes up, especially after his own shot, clear out or tackle him. Gordon's legs suddenly morph into pogo sticks as he bounds up once, twice, three or four times until that sucker finds the hoop.
We all like to watch the superstar kid shoot or soar for a flying dunk. I like to watch Gordon pursue the ball. It's like a retriever after fowl or a herding pooch around cattle or Frisbee dogs after the sphere.
He's relentless. Spectacular. High-flying. Downright human
Beyond the athleticism, his inner workings are just as impressive and intriguing. I mean, how does a young person deal with such notoriety and attention? Likewise, as a tall, physical kid in the middle of the fray, how does Gordon deal with all the beating and battering down low?
On all those counts, Gordon ranks higher than his recruiting number.
In a recent game at Archbishop Riordan (San Francisco)
, the home team played Gordon just like they should have. The Crusaders sent two and three defenders at him, played physical, tough and slapped constantly at the ball.
Gordon's Achilles heel is free-throw shooting, so teams sometimes put him on the line before giving up a dunk. He went to the line 21 times and made 11, which is about his career percentage.
He never lost his cool, never threw an elbow, rarely complained to the official, but he never backed down either.
It was a frustrating night for sure — he had only one field goal heading into the final quarter — but, as usual, he got the last word with 12 of his game-high 21 points to go along with 23 rebounds and seven blocks in a hard-fought 57-52 victory.
Fittingly, in the final seconds, a wild scramble found Gordon all alone for a breakaway. He sent down a windmill dunk which drew a mighty roar from both sides. It was the only time he had breathing room all night.
"That felt pretty good," he said of the dunk afterward. "I was going to do something crazy, but I went with a little bread and butter."
Gordon was just as impressive speaking with three reporters afterward as he was in the game. He spoke honestly, looked reporters in the eye and was downright human.
"It's the same thing I see, double and triple teams," he said of the physical play. "They were hacking at my arms. It's tough to hold on to the ball when it's at your forearms. It happens so fast and in the flow of the game, the referees can't really see it sometimes. I can't really complain."
He didn't grumble either when asked for the uncountable time about his college choices. Unlike most five-star recruits, Gordon is going to wait until after the season to decide. Recruiting game
As is his nature, Gordon wants to see how everything plays out. Which college underclassmen pop to the pros. Which prep players sign where. He's analytical. Precise. A student of the game and the recruiting game.
If you don't believe that, then read how he broke down his finalist without even a prod.
"Let's start with Kentucky," he said. "It's a winning organization. Coach (John) Calipari is a winner. It's a true basketball program. The Wildcat Launch is right across the street from the gym. You can go in there 24 hours a day. There's a curfew. It's almost like a business. If you really want to play basketball, that's the place to go.
"Arizona is a shooting program and coach (Sean) Miller is a really good shooting coach. They are losing two of their really good seniors, Kevin Parrom and Solomon Hill. It's a great place to go to school. I'd be happy there if I were to go there. Miller is a really great coach.
"Obviously (Lorenzo) Romar is a really great coach also at Washington. They have a really good offense – it's a 1-4 high, almost like a John Wooden offense. They look to push in the first eight seconds. It's up-tempo but also very structured. It's also very basketball-oriented."
Gordon's analytical skills were helped by his older siblings.
His brother Drew Gordon played at UCLA and New Mexico (now professionally in Serbia) and his sister Elisabeth plays at Harvard.
"Drew made a poor decision his first time around and great one the second time," he said. "My sister made a good one to Harvard. I've been able to see the dos and don'ts of the recruiting process and it's allowed me to really open my eyes to a lot of things.
"Ultimately, it's my decision and nobody else's."
That's not easy either. He's been recruited for years and built strong bonds with many coaches and programs. Gordon's mom Shelly Davis said when her son called a coach recently to inform him that his school wasn't one of his three finalists, the coach got choked up.
"That really did Aaron in," Davis said. "It makes things tough. It won't be easy with these three final picks."
But nothing in Gordon's robust world appears simple. Between media, recruiters, scrappy rebounders and autograph seekers, everyone comes at him in waves.
But somehow he manages. Somehow he follows up. Somehow he gets the ball and his life where it's supposed to go.Watch more videos of Archbishop Mitty basketball