Illinois guard Jeff Jordan has proven he's more than just a famous last name by earning a scholarship starting with the spring semester.

Illinois guard Jeff Jordan has proven he's more than just a famous last name by earning a scholarship starting with the spring semester.


Illinois coach Bruce Weber announced the move Thursday. Jordan, a sophomore and the oldest son of Michael Jordan, has earned a role with the Illini with his tenacious defense.


"He's proven to us that he belongs,'' said Weber. "He's done a nice job of having a niche and having a role. You saw he could really be a pest on defense...he pushes the ball better than Chester (Frazier) and Demetri (McCamey).


"He's just a good quality kid, a good team member. We made that decision. We probably should have done it maybe in the first semester. I hope he feels good about it.''


A reserve behind the three-guard lineup and well-liked in the locker room, Jordan saw his role expand in recent weeks by improving his defense. Weber even hinted Jordan's conditioning had improved.


Jordan is averaging 1.3 points and 9.5 minutes a game. A three-time Chicago Catholic League selection at Wilmette Loyola Academy, Jordan turned down offers from smaller Division I programs to walk-on at Illinois. He averaged 15 points a game as a senior in high school.


John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com.