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Madrid-Andrews signs with Chicago State

UCC sophomore Jordan Madrid-Andrews signs national letter of intent to play basketball for the Chicago St. Cougars

Hannah Hawkins/ Mainstream
Madrid-Andrews goes up in the lane versus New Hope Christian (above) and Treasure Valley (below). The UCC forward finished third in the NWAC in rebounding (10.27), and eight in blocks (1.37) per game.

As long as UCC’s Jordan Madrid-Andrews can remember, he has dreamt of playing division one basketball. That dream has become a reality. On April 16, Madrid-Andrews signed a national letter of intent with the Chicago State Cougars to play basketball in the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The 6’7’’ forward was a focal point on a Riverhawk (19-11 overall, 10-4 south) men’s basketball team that not only qualified for the Northwest Athletic Conference tournament, but improved its previous seasons win total by 13 games. 

After spending his freshmen season at Western State Colorado University, Madrid-Andrews transferred to Umpqua unsure if his goal of playing at the highest level of college basketball would become a reality.

“Jordan sacrificed by transferring from division two school (WSCU) for a shot at going to a division one school,” head coach Daniel Leeworthy said. “I told him if he did transfer to UCC, I would put him in a position where he could go D1 and fulfill his goals.”

Jordan joined the Riverhawks and finished his sophomore season as one of the top players in the NWAC averaging 12.03 points, 10.27 rebounds and 1.37 blocks a game. He was one of only three players across 32 teams to average a double-double on the season. His play quickly attracted the attention of Chicago State and their head coach Tracy Dildy.

“Our (Cougars) main thing is we need someone to come in and take some pride rebounding and defending the basketball,” coach Dildy said. “We think Jordan can do that for us. The way we play, we get up and down the floor quickly. It’s a player friendly style. Jordan will fit in well.”

After graduating from UCC in the winter and signing in the early spring, Madrid-Andrews can start concentrating on next season.

“It (signing with Cougars) is definitely a relief,” Madrid-Andrews said. “There were times along the way that made me feel like it wasn’t going to work out. But I kept my head down and continued to work hard trusting God to put it all into place.”

Chicago State competes in the Western Athletic Conference with colleges such as New Mexico State, Seattle University and Grand Canyon. Each year the conference champion wins an outright berth to the NCAA tournament of March Madness and an opportunity to play for a national title. 

The Cougars (8-24, 4-10) struggled a bit last season. Chicago State played a brutal non-conference schedule, registering losses to some of the better basketball programs in the country such as Notre Dame, Arizona State, Creighton and Western Kentucky.

The addition of Madrid-Andrews will help the Cougars in the rebounding department and on the defensive side of the ball. Regardless, it’s apparent he is ready to get started.

“I come in with a strong blue collar work ethic and attitude,” Madrid-Andrews said. “I have a high motor, versatility and a hunger to win at all costs.”

Unfortunately Jordan’s departure leaves a void on the court for next seasons Riverhawks. Players are aware of the impact the sophomore forward had during his time at UCC.

“Jordan meant so much with his energy and his work ethic every day,” freshman guard Joe Baldi. “I feel as a leader you should be one of the hardest workers and competitors and he brought that every day. His rebounding can’t be replaced by just one player.”

Jordan is clear what he will miss most about his season at Umpqua.

“Definitely my teammates, and looking back on how much we did for the program in that little time,” - Madrid-Andrews