Jordan Barham : “I want to be the best player in Nationale 1”

American guard Jordan Barham (6’4”, 22 years old) is ready to start his second professional basketball season overseas as a player. He talks about it on

Can you introduce yourself?
Hello my name is Jordan Barham. I’m 22 years old and am from beautiful Cleveland, Ohio.

How did you started playing basketball?
I think I started playing basketball around the time I was 4 or 5. I was living in Virginia at the time and my mother bought me one of those little basketball hoops to shoot on. From there I started playing in a local Church league and my love for the game took off from there.

How can you describe your game?
I think that versatile is one word that truly describes my game. Because of my size, strength, athleticism and playmaking ability I’m able to do a lot of things on the court that will help my team win. I’m an aggressive player who’s always in attack mode to create opportunities to score for myself and my teammates.

What was your basketball path when you grew up? Where did you played?
Like I mentioned earlier, I was born in Cleveland, Ohio but my family moved to Virginia for about 5 years. That’s where I first started playing basketball. When I was about 9 we moved back to Ohio and I started playing for my school. From there I went on the play for University School and was blessed to receive a scholarship to Davidson College in North Carolina.

So, you played for the same university as Stephen Curry. Did you met him personally? Did you played basketball with him?
Yes, I did go to Davidson College, the school that Steph Curry made famous during their Elite 8 run. I actually met Steph for the first time on my recruiting visit to Davidson. He came back to school every year I was at Davidson so I’ve got to workout and talk with him a few times.

Personally, you started your pro basketball career last season in Challans (France). How that deal happened?
Yes, so I originally signed to play with a club in the Czech Republic. However, a coaching change occurred and some other things happened that led to me no longer playing for them. I got a call from my agent in November saying that a player on Challans had gotten hurt and they wanted to sign me. Two days later I flew to France started playing for Challans. I signed to play with Challans for the rest of last season but I injured my hand in a game against GET Vosges that sidelined me for the rest of the season.

Globally, what can you say about your rookie season?
I really learned a lot from my rookie season. I learned how to be a professional and what it takes to make a long career out of basketball. I learned what weaknesses in my game I need to continue to improve. When I arrived in Challans, the team had been struggling and were in fear of dropping out of the league. However, we played a lot better after I arrived and carried that momentum into a spot in the playoffs. I thought that I provided the team the missing pieces they needed in order to win. I really enjoyed my first season in France, and am very excited for the upcoming season.

You will return to Challans next week to play your second professional year. What did you do during the summer to be ready?
During the summer I really tried to work on my skills and strengthen my body for next season. I need to become a more consistent outside shooter so I really focused on that this summer with my trainer Robbie Haught. I also just tried to make sure my body was in great condition for the long season we have ahead.

What are yours goals for next season and future?
Individually, I want to be the best player in Nationale 1. I played well during my time in Challans last year but believe that there is so much more I can do to take my game to the next level and obtain that goal. In the future, my goal is to continually move up and eventually play in ProA or another good top Division league. I know it will take a lot of work but am confident that I can do it. As a team, I think that we have a lot of talent and should be able to compete for the best club in the league. I know that will be a goal of ours.

To conclude, what can you say about life in France?
Life in France is awesome. The country is beautiful, the food is great and all the people I’ve encountered have been very friendly. I honestly didn’t really know what to expect because I had never been to France before last season but it has been a really fun experience so far.

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