Former Taconic Hills High School, Columbia-Greene Community College (CGCC), and Morrisville State College star Jordan Hoose signed a one-year contract with the Harlem Wizards on Tuesday.
“It’s a blessing really, I never thought I would be able to play basketball and get paid,” said Hoose.
The Harlem Wizards are a show basketball team that travels around the country to entertain people and run fundraisers for charity, similar to the Globetrotters. Their slogan is “trick hoops and alley oops,” which is a slam dunk for Hoose, who has been making trick shots look easy for some time.
At his Wizards try out, Hoose made an impression doing what he does best, “when we got to the dunking portion of the tryout, I just killed it. I was getting oh’s and ah’s from players already on the team, it was awesome.”
The former Patroon Conference standout first dunked at 15-years-old as a Sophomore at Taconic and has been known as a “high flyer” ever since.
“When you see him do that [dunk] on someone with no fear, that’s impressive,” said Columbia-Greene Community College Men’s Basketball Coach Brian Smith.
Smith helped recruit Hoose to the school. As a teacher for 15 years at Catskill Elementary; he does more than just coach basketball players.
“Hoose and I have become really close,” said Smith. “It’s not just basketball; I connect with the person.”
“Coach Smith and the rest of my coaches at Co-Greene really helped me become the player that I am,” said Hoose.
The Twins struggled mightily in Hoose’s first season with the program, winning just four games. In their second program together, the team jumped up to 17 wins, and Hoose improved overall as a player.
“We knew it was going to be tough for him at first – coming from a small school,” Smith said. “But he did exceptionally well.”
At CGCC, Hoose averaged 14 points per game, eight rebounds per game and shot 66 percent from the field.
“College is a whole different ball game; even just going to a Community College is totally different from playing high school ball,” said Hoose.
Morrisville State College is a Division III program located an hour east of Syracuse, and Head Coach Joseph Smith recruited Hoose to play with the Mustangs.
In 2015, his first season with Morrisville, Hoose, and his teammates suffered a heartbreaking loss in the National Championship game to Lancaster Bible College. Averaging 7.3 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game and shooting 53 percent from the field, Hoose helped the Mustangs redeem themselves in 2016, winning the National Championship game.
“We wanted revenge,” Hoose said. “It’s crazy because the following year we won it and we actually beat Lancaster, and it was such a good feeling.”
Hoose finished his college career with 1,035 career points and 650 career rebounds, but now he’s ready for the next step of his career.
“I definitely didn’t expect to get paid in show basketball, but when opportunities come you can’t really turn them down,” said Hoose.
Last week., Coach Smith invited Hoose to return to Columbia-Green for its Twins Basketball Camp. While helping out, he (Hoose) elevated higher than his first college coach had ever seen.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzGVQ_FSpSQ]
“I use him [Hoose] as an example for my guys of what hard work is,” Smith added.
What the Harlem Wizards do is entertainment, they put on a show, it’s not a competition like a real basketball game.
“The first night we did it [an exhibition game] I still had a little bit of that competitive edge in me, so I didn’t know what to do,” said Hoose. “I just have to be a little goofier, but I think when I go down to training camp they’ll ease me into that.”
“He just has to put on a show and appeal to people, he can relate to anyone at any age,” Smith said.
Hoose leaves for training camp on Tuesday, September 5 and he’s excited to start a new career.
“I’m just looking forward to the crowds and the kids because that’s what it’s really for,” said Hoose.
Once his contract is up, Coach Smith and Hoose both want his basketball career to continue.
“It’s not going to stop at the Harlem Wizards,” Smith said.
“I would love to play oversees or possibly try out for the D-League or something, but if I’m happy doing this I’m going to stick with this,” said Hoose.
The Wizards play a 35 week season and over 130 games ending on May 13th. You can find their schedule and tickets here.
You can follow Jordan Hoose’s journey with the Wizards on Instagram: @jordan_hoose and @hoosemixtape