Former Wheeler basketball player Jordan Usher earned an NBA Summer League contract with the Utah Jazz after leading Georgia Tech in rebounding and becoming its second-leading scorer during the 2021-22 season.
Usher went undrafted in 2022 but caught on with the Jazz and made a noticeable impact in his first professional outing.
In Utah’s 98-77 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, July 5, Usher played 14 minutes off the bench. He shot 3-for-6 and scored seven points, also recording the team’s highest plus-minus rating at plus-5.
“They done let the kid from Canton in the building,” Usher said on Twitter after earning a spot in the summer league. “Time to put the boots on and step.
Current Cherokee High School Athletic Director, and Usher’s former basketball coach at Sequoyah, Jeremy Adams, was not surprised by the recent success. Usher played three years at Sequoyah before transferring to Wheeler for his senior season.
“We are very proud of Jordan,” Adams said. “I spent some time with him last week and watched some of the summer league right after he signed. He is a contagious young man. He is passionate, and he plays extremely hard with tremendous energy. He is a great kid first and foremost with great character.”
The 6-foot-7 guard/forward brought energy to Utah on Tuesday, highlighted by him forcing an eight-second violation that earned praise from his coaches and teammates.
In his pre-draft interviews, Usher said he prides himself on doing the dirty work to help his team win. He said he feels like his role on defense could become a blend of Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and Dillon Brooks from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Usher’s work ethic shined throughout his college career between Georgia Tech (2019-22) and the University of Southern California (2017-19). He improved his scoring and rebounding from 4.8 and 2.0, respectively, as a freshman, to 14.8 and 6.5 as a fifth-year senior.
“We knew Jordan always had a chance because he had the desire to get there,” Adams said. “He has a great support system with his mom and dad. They always put him in a great position as far as the training and exposure he needed.”
One of Usher’s signature moments at Sequoyah came during his junior season (2015-16) at the Region 7AAAAA tournament. Helped the Chiefs with 29 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, three blocks and three assists in the semifinal matchup.
Usher corralled a tip-out from Sprayberry and drove cost-to-cost for a momentum-shifting dunk. He then led a late Chiefs’ rally, which resulted in a 77-70 win over the Yellow Jackets.
“He made some hustle plays during that game where you could tell he was different for sure,” Adams said.
Sequoyah played in a challenging region but finished in first place at 11-1. Usher went on to win the Region 7AAAAA Player of the Year award.
He averaged 18.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game as a junior. He scored a high school career-best 37 points against North Forsyth during the 2014-15 season.
“He is like a family member to us, and we have always considered him like family,” Adams said. “Even with my boys, they love him to death. He does things the right way and always represents Hickory Flat. He is proud of that.”
Utah wraps up the Salt Lake City Summer League on July 7 against the Memphis Grizzlies and will join the official NBA Summer League from July 9-15.