The Daily Hoosier caught up with Indiana class of 2020 signee Jordan Geronimo to discuss how he has been spending the last two months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year attends St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire, but has been at his home in New Jersey since his school was closed.
Geronimo is the highest rated recruit in Indiana’s class of 2020, coming in at No. 92 nationally according to the 247Sports Composite.
TDH: How have you been able to stay close to the game of basketball over the last two months with everything locked down?
Geronimo: I just came from a workout. I finally found a place where I can workout. I did some drills and some 2-vs.-2 full court, nothing serious but it’s just something different from what I’ve been doing.
Before that it has been a lot of individual stuff by myself, ball handling and shooting in my backyard with my parents.
But I had an opportunity to go play with other people (on Thursday) which is kind of fun because I haven’t done that in a long time.
I try to prepare myself and be consistent with working out and I think it showed a little bit during the runs we had because 2-vs.-2 full court gets tiring but I was able to keep it up though. It was good.
TDH: Academically, how hard has it been to see your senior year of high school relegated to e-learning?
(Note: Geronimo has a 3.98 GPA at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire)
Geronimo: I can’t really complain because it happened, there’s nothing I can do about it. The e-learning has been a big change, something that I have had to adjust to. I’m not going to lie, it’s kind of hard for me personally because I like to learn face-to-face, over the computer is kind of different, and at home it is more distracting. I’m getting through it. I’m adjusting to it.
TDH: What aspects of your game have you been focusing on over the last two months?
Geronimo: A lot of ball handling. I’ve been focusing on that a lot and watching a lot of film because that’s all you can do right now. I couldn’t really find a space to workout. I’ve been doing all of the stationary ball handling drills that I know, kept doing those. Some post work. Just different parts of my game to keep me busy and watching a whole lot of film because I feel like it’s important to watch the originals do it. The Last Dance documentary. I’ve been glued to that. Just watching different parts of the game so I know what to expect.
TDH: What is it like to watch the Jordan documentary knowing that you are named after him?
Geronimo: I hadn’t thought about that until you said that. Now that I’m thinking about it I’m like damn, I’m actually named after the greatest ball player of all-time. It kind of puts a chip on my shoulder, like I kind of want to be like Mike, you know what I mean? It airs kind of late, so I’ll be in my bed watching the documentary, and after 30 minutes of watching it I kind of want to get up and do some dribbling and some workouts.
It is crazy how one man’s work ethic could have an effect on so many different people. It is so inspiring, honestly. It’s a great film.
TDH: Have you been watching any film of any current or former Indiana players?
Geronimo: I’ve been watching OG Anunoby because I get a lot of comparisons to him. I watch Romeo Langford. People like that, people that went to IU and made it big.
TDH: You mentioned Anunoby. He came in to college thought of as a power forward and has transitioned to more of a wing. Is that a model for where you would like to take your game?
Geronimo: Yeah. I played a lot of the four in high school. I could bring up the ball on fast breaks, but I was more of a guy in the paint and doing that kind of stuff. But I’m making the transition to being a guard, so it’s kind of difficult but I’m down for it so it’s alright.
TDH: Have you had much contact with (fellow 2020 classmates) Anthony Leal or Trey Galloway?
Geronimo: Yeah I have. We had our first (virtual) student orientation on Monday and I saw them there. It was fun.
TDH: What is IU telling you in terms of what to expect for arriving on campus to begin training with the team?
Geronimo: They don’t really know much about the future right now. This whole thing is so unexpected. They think that we’re going to be able to go there during the summer at some point which is good.
(Note: Incoming freshmen on the IU basketball team normally arrive in early June. Geronimo agreed that he is basically on call waiting for the green light to make the move to Bloomington. His main point of contact at IU has been assistant coach Bruiser Flint, who he speaks with regularly.)
TDH: IU assistant coach Mike Roberts visited you before the season. What was his message to you?
Geronimo: He came and watched me do a workout. He came in and gave me some pointers. He emphasized rebounds and told me that I was leaning to much on my shot and needed to be more straight up and down. That helped me with balance. It helped a lot. I got a lot better over the course of the season.
(Note: The 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior forward averaged 18.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 blocks per game this past season)
TDH: What has been the most challenging thing for you over the last couple months, either from a basketball or personal perspective?
Geronimo: The hardest challenge has been maintaining a consistent schedule. I feel like having a schedule in life for anything is really important. For me personally, once I get accustomed to a schedule, the first couple weeks of doing it, I start to get comfortable. But I have to find ways to keep pushing myself, knowing that I have to get better every day. I can’t relax, because if I relax that means that someone else is working and they are getting better than me, and I can’t have anyone better than me.
TDH: When you think about your freshman season at Indiana, what does success look like to you?
Geronimo: I think a successful first year will be me just doing what I’m told. If I’m a role player, I’ll be the best role player there is. If I’m on the court for defense and rebounds, and I’m going to go out there and try to do as much as I possibly can. Just be the guy that the team needs to win. I just want to help the team get better. A team wins because it is better than a single player.
See also: Jordan Geronimo’s senior year highlights
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