Jamon Gordon Inducted Into The Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame

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Jamon Gordon is part of the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Jamon Gordon noticed an envelope in the mailbox from Virginia Tech. He left it unopened for a couple of days, expecting it to be another letter that all alumni of the university receive.

However, this particular piece of mail had much more purpose. When Gordon finally got around to opening it, he realized it was the fulfillment of a job well done. It was an honor he would forever cherish. 

It was a letter from Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Whit Babcock letting Gordon know he had been selected for induction into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame, joining six others in the 2021 class.

“It was shocking,” Gordon said. “I don’t care if you even knew you were going in. You know a group of peers voted you to go in. 

“For me, I was probably a half-star [recruit] coming into Virginia Tech. Just leaving a legacy, building something, watching the basketball program now, I know where it was when we got there in 2003. We had a couple of down years, but I think we built the foundation back up to where the school wanted to be at. I’m more about kids that come in without big names knowing they can look at my journey, see my face on the wall and know they can be me. It’s more about what I’m trying to show people who are coming to Virginia Tech.”

Gordon capped off his illustrious career with 1,280 points, 585 rebounds, 514 assists and 290 steals. In 2006-07, he was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and helped take the Hokies to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 21 years, where Tech was a No. 5 seed.

This Friday, Gordon will be honored at a ceremony in Blacksburg. Then, during halftime of the Duke football game on Saturday, Gordon and the other inductees (Queen Harrison-Claye, Kristi Castlin, Xavier Adibi, Macho Harris, Jackie Davoud Hendrick, and Tyronne Drakeford) will be introduced.

“It was how [Jamon] changed the identity and the culture and the toughness and the mindset of Virginia Tech basketball,” former Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said in a congratulatory video back in August. “When Jamon Gordon and Zabian Dowdell took the court, people understood that there was no doubt about it, we were in position to compete and win the game. Jamon Gordon helped change Virginia Tech basketball. This is such a well-deserved honor.”

Jamon Gordon
Former Virginia Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said Jamon Gordon “changed the identity” of the program. (Ivan Morozov)

For many, it was not a matter of if, but when Gordon would be inducted into the Virginia Tech Hall of Fame. While he would have liked to join in the same year as Dowdell, who was inducted in 2017, Gordon is appreciative of the journey and the influence Virginia Tech has had in his life.

“I always believed I was under-recruited because the area I’m from, Jacksonville, wasn’t a big basketball area,” Gordon said. “It was a process, but it was amazing. I learned a lot. Virginia Tech opened my mind up coming from an inner-city kid. Blacksburg was a total culture shock.

“Everything about Virginia Tech shaped me into the person that I am. It shaped me to be able to have a long career in 11 different places. It was a great experience for me.”

Part of that process was built under the direction of Greenberg. Gordon jokes that the duo had their back-and-forth moments. He still laughs at the time he convinced Greenberg to let the team go home to the holidays by going behind his back and talking to Greenberg’s wife, Karen, but it was all in genuine respect. He’s truly thankful for Greenberg’s influence that helped him launch into a successful career overseas.

“It’s funny, me and coach Greenberg, we used to argue a lot more than anybody else,” Gordon said. “I got his respect early. Coach, he does a lot of apologizing to us because he was crazy at times, but if there’s one thing, he taught me how to play hard. I think for me, I taught him to understand the players more. 

“We have a great relationship even after I played. He always called to check on me. He always made sure I was checking up on the other players. Greenberg, he meant a lot to me. Not knowing then when I was playing that players usually have tough relationships with coaches, now that I look back and I’m finished playing basketball, he did a lot for my career.”

Then, there was the other side of Virginia Tech that made Gordon’s experience so meaningful: the fans. Hokies have always had a soft spot for the glue guys on the team who do the hard work that others aren’t willing to do. As a result, Gordon was their guy. 

Gordon was the 6-foot-3 guard who would scrap for rebounds. He was the pest on the court who always guarded the opposing team’s best player and made it a nightmare. To this day, he still holds the single-season steals record with 94 during the 2006-07 season. Plus, he backed it all up with a jovial personality that made him a fan favorite.

Jamon Gordon was a fan favorite, especially after he helped lead the Hokies to the Big Dance in 2006-07. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

“The fans, I don’t know if they know it, but I feed off the fans,” Gordon said. “To see the fans still, they write me on Facebook, they write me on Instagram about how they miss me and all of that. I found out that all the fans used to like my radio interviews after the game. I never knew that.

“The Virginia Tech fans are so different. They’re so loyal. They treat you like stars. I remember this first game compared to the Duke game my senior year, the fans were unbelievable.”

Nowadays, Gordon is back in his hometown of Jacksonville. He’s still displaying that same playful nature he would show in the post-game interviews by quipping that he’s just “trying not to get fat.” He owns a real estate company and a basketball training facility, hoping to get into coaching or training in the NBA.

Gordon noted he might try to stick around a few days and catch up with Mike Young and the current Hokies basketball team to be around the players and take it all in, all while learning some new tricks from Young. Either way, when Gordon walks inside Cassell Coliseum this weekend, a flood of emotions will return and remind him of everything it took to become a Hall of Famer.

“Walking into Cassell is going to be tough for me,” Gordon said. “It’s like seeing someone you haven’t seen in so many years.

“I can look back at games on YouTube. I can remember certain people in certain seats at the games. I remember beating Duke at Virginia Tech. Just these unbelievable feelings. I had some bad feelings in there of playing bad and walking through the tunnel, walking to my dorm room, like, ‘Oh, I’m not even good enough.’ It’s just the feeling I get when I come to Cassell or the feeling I get into Blacksburg, period. It’s like a big family to me. Virginia Tech will always be home for me.”

Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2021 Release: Link

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19 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I remember our group of fans would run to the car after a game hoping Jamon would be interviewed. He was absolutely hilarious. What a wonderful lock down defender and such a great leader. Congratulations on a very well deserved honor.

  2. God, I loved Jamon and still do. What a competitor and a great human being. Those teams with he, Z, Collins, et al were heart and soul.

  3. Jamon was a joy to watch and cheer for. I took my two boys (12 and 8) to the 1st Round NCAA game in 2006 where JG and the gang came back from down 10 with about 2 minutes to go to beat Illinois by 1. The Illini fans were pissed. 🤣

  4. He was a Worker-a complete Pleasure to watch-left it all on the Basketball Court. Guys like Him will always bring a Smile to any Tech Fan.

  5. Well-earned honor! It was a joy to watch Jamon play. You knew you were always getting an honest all-out day of work from him.

  6. Great for Jamon. I thought it was criminal when they didn’t indict him and Zabian Dowdell at the same time.

  7. Jamon is the perfect teammate. Congratulations to him. He and Bimbo Coles are probably my all time favorite players. Hunter Cattoor is up there as well. Jamon was a great player. He did it all and had such a positive attitude. He is the type of guy you want to hang out with and you definitely want him on your team. As a lefty that lives in FL I have a soft spot for him. We are not particularly known for being a basketball state but I think that perception is starting to change a little.

  8. I’m so, so happy to read this. Gordon is my favorite VT basketball player of all time. He played hard and smart and contributed in every way – defense, offense, assist, hustle, REBOUNDS. I’ll never forget his rebound to beat Duke. We’ve had better players to be sure but no one was a versatile. And what about the other inductees? Queen Harrison-Claye (fellow alum and state champion, go Hermitage Panther Track and Field!), Kristi Castlin, Xavier Adibi, Macho Harris, Jackie Davoud Hendrick, and Tyronne Drakeford! Wow! I can’t be in Blacksburg this weekend so I applaud you all from here. Thank you!

  9. Excellent article about a great person. Jamon will always be high on the list of all-time favorite players… a class act and a tireless worker, he epitomizes what many feel is the true essence of being a Hokie. Congratulations to Jamon, a richly deserved honor!

  10. One of my all-time favorite Hokies! Loved the way Gordon played and I always appreciated his attitude. Great write-up and interesting to get a little “behind the scenes” info on his relationship with Coach Seth!

  11. Congratulations to Jamon and well deserved. VT fans do love their “glue guys” and he does do a good interview – I hope he attains his goal of working in the NBA.

  12. Great article. As you wrote, JG was the “glue man.” I think you got the essence of the man. My wife, who used to tutor JG, also speaks highly of him. I look forward to seeing him at tomorrow’s HoF Induction, and at the game on Saturday.

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