Detroit native and Former Michigan forward Jordan Morgan has signed with Virtus Roma, a professional club that competes in the Italian League. Morgan took to Twitter to announce the news.
“I’m lucky to start my career as a professional team with a historic and prestigious as Virtus, in a lovely city like Rome,” Morgan told Virtus Roma’s website (translated from Italian). “I’m excited for the team we’re putting together, I can not wait to meet my new teammates and to take the court.”
The University of Detroit Jesuit product, went un-drafted in the 2014 NBA draft, but he did play with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2014 NBA Summer League, averaging six points and three rebounds per game in his three games of action.
If you ask me, the NBA’s loss is the Italian League’s gain and Morgan’s new basketball family knows it.
This comment comes from Virtus Roma general manager Nicola Alberani via Virtus Roma’s website (translated from Italian):
“Morgan is a solid player, and square. We give substance into the area and depth in attack. He comes from a background of basketball very high, in fact of three of his college classmates were selected to the NBA Draft this year. For a number of factors that I have not had the exposure it deserves, because it is a team player willing to sacrifice. It has important human qualities and not surprisingly he was captain at Michigan University.“
Even Virtus Roma head coach Luke Dalmonte spoke of the signing of Morgan via Virtus Roma’s website (translated from Italian):
“This is a very intriguing bet, but a rookie debut as a professional with experience behind in a high quality school.
E ‘center a much more dynamic and vertical in the field has a positive attitude and selfless. In the attack succeeds in giving the right rhythm playing, well, the pick and roll, even several times in the same action. Defensively we will have to exploit more energy in spite of versatility, without making comparisons with those who preceded him”
I’m inclined to agree with GM Nicola Alberani and head coach Luke Dalmonte on this one. Morgan may not have had the most glamorous stats, considering he only averaged six points and five rebounds as a senior for the Wolverines but his stats don’t define what he brings to a team.
At 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds, Morgan is considered to be undersized at the power forward positions but he still bring plenty of great qualities to a team. Despite being undersized, he can provide a nice defensive boost, not to mention he is also a strong rebounder given his size. Although his offensive game is limited, he has the ability to convert off pick and rolls and can set some quality screens to get teammates open.
Most importantly, Morgan is a leader and team player that will do anything to help his team. Unlike so many players, Morgan is willing to be the work horse who sets the picks to open up his teammates, rebound the ball to give him teammates second chance points or sacrifice his body by taking a charge in the paint defensively.
Towards the end of his career with Michigan, Morgan was asked to come off the bench, to make room for freshman sensation Mitch McGary. While some would have complained, Morgan simply took to his role as the sixth man off the bench and worked hard to be the boost for the Wolverines off the bench. It was during that time, that he still continued to be a veteran leader to his team, despite being on the bench. If that’s enough, when Mitch McGary missed all of last season with a back injury, Morgan was right there, ready to take on the load and be consistent rebouder and defender for the Wolverines. He even stepped up his offensive game, working hard to give the Wolverines second chance points off the boards.
It’s because of those great and unselfish qualities that Morgan was a captain of the Wolverines and one of the most respected Wolverines of all time.
If that’s enough for you, just know that Morgan will make an impact way beyond his time on the court. During his time at Michigan, he earned B.S.E. degree in industrial and operations engineering and he is currently working on master’s degree in manufacturing engineering.
Regardless, of what he does on the court, Morgan has aspirations to change the world, starting with his aspirations to have a non-profit organization in the City of Detroit to mentor young children and teenagers.
In the meantime, I don’t know about you but I am excited to see what Morgan will do this upcoming season in the Italian League with his new team, Virtus Roma. Keep in mind he won’t be alone, according to UMHoops.com, Virtus Roma also signed former Syracuse guard Brandon Triche and former Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim.
Written by LBeasley (Lauren Beasley), Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
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