Dec. 21, 2010
The competition among high school basketball players to become Division I college players is fierce. As a player at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, Calif., Jordan Weiner experienced that.
As a high school senior, Weiner averaged 18 points per game and set a Birmingham record with 74 three-point baskets. He earned First Team All-West Valley League honors.
Still, he wasn't recruited.
"I wasn't really recruited out of high school and I was accepted based on my academics," Weiner recalled. "But I love the game and I felt that I could play in college."
So, when he got to UCSB he tried out for the basketball team and made it as a walk-on. But making the team as a walk-on was only the first step, competing at a Division I level was another challenge. Weiner parlayed his passion for basketball and his willingness to work hard into becoming an asset to the team.
In the four and a half years since he arrived in Santa Barbara, Weiner has become a key component for the Gauchos. Last year, he was a starter the second half of the season as the team won the Big West regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Weiner's emergence physically, and in terms of his basketball skills, has been impressive. As a redshirt in 2006-07, he simply wasn't ready to play Division I basketball.
"When I got here, I was small and scrawny and not physically able to compete," Weiner said. "The hardest part for me was getting my body physically fit."
Weiner struggled with his physical appearance. His body shape didn't resemble the average basketball player who had a quick jump shot or the ability to drive strong to the basket. But the redshirt year gave him the opportunity to increase his physical strength as well as improve his game. Weiner knew that hard work was his only option if he had any hope of becoming a college basketball player.
"I had to work extremely hard to play with the guys on the team," he said. "After practice everyday I would be in the weight room lifting to get stronger and also working on my jump shot. I had to work extremely hard just to be average."
"He really put the time and work in," said UCSB head coach Bob Williams. "He made himself into a player and he's become an important part of this team."
Weiner needed to increase his knowledge of the game as well. It simply wasn't at the level it needed to be.
"I wanted to expand and get a better basketball IQ," he said. "I wanted to be able to read the game and see things before they happened."
Weiner has done just that and now excels in many ways. He currently ranks third on the team in three-point baskets, second in steals and tied for second in assists. Ultimately, however, it's all about winning games.
"The biggest goal that I have (for the team) is fulfilling our potential because everyone has been throwing so many things out there of what we can do and what we should do," Weiner said. "It doesn't mean anything if we don't work hard now because this is where it starts. If we can live up to the potential of the hype then were going to be a great team."
A political science major, Weiner is a Golden Eagle Award-winner, a two-time Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete honoree and an Academic All-Big West selection. As he closes in on the end of his senior season, he knows there are no guarantees his basketball career will continue. However, basketball didn't give Weiner the opportunity to be a Gaucho, academics did. He hopes to continue his education in law school once he graduates.
"People always told me that I have a big mouth and I like to argue a lot and law would be a good career for me and that's what made me decide what I should pursue," he said. "That was kind of like my thing, going to law school.
And, if Weiner approaches his career in law with the same dedication that he has his basketball career, success will most likely result.
We asked Jordan to take some time to answer a few questions.
1. What are your favorite things to do?
2. What is your favorite class at UCSB?
3. What will you miss most about the life at UCSB after you graduate?
4. Where is your favorite place to eat in Isla Vista? Naan Stop.
5. If you were stranded on an island, what two things would you like to have with you? A raft with oars and food.
6. Which super power would you like to have? Why?
7. Who is your favorite Professor at UCSB?
8. What is one thing people do not know about you...until now?
9. When you had your long hair, how did you feel when you had to cut it?
10. When you walk the stage on your graduation day, what will you do?
11. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
12. If you won the lotto what will be the first thing you do with your money?
13. If MTV made a show about you, what would it be about? Who would play you?
14. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
15. If you could take the place of any athlete and be that person for a week, who would it be?
16. Do you have any role model(s)? Who?
17. If you were a Greek God, who which one would you be? What would you give the world?
18. During finals or midterms, where would you go study?
19. What is the perfect meal to you?
20. If you could hang out with anyone in history, who would it be? Ghandhi
Jordan Weiner: A Great Example
April 19, 2011 Student Group Reaches 6,000 Members
April 13, 2011 Gauchos Have League-High Four Receive All-Academic Honors
March 17, 2011 Second-Seeded Florida too Much for UCSB, 79-51
March 15, 2011 Gauchos caught spark in a trash can
March 15, 2011 Orlando Johnson Named UCSBgauchos.com Athlete of the Week
March 14, 2011 UC Santa Barbara has chance to put Big West back on the map
March 14, 2011 Big West Tournament Sees 47% Increase In Attendance
March 14, 2011 UCSB Takes On Florida in NCAA Second Round Thursday in Tampa
March 9, 2011 Orlando Johnson Selected NABC First Team All-District
February 26, 2011 Big Second Half Run Pushes Long Beach Past UCSB, 71-53
February 25, 2011 UCSB Travels to Long Beach State for ESPN2 Game Saturday
February 24, 2011 UCSB Can't Hold on In Second Half, Loses 68-60 at Northridge
February 21, 2011 Gauchos Resume Big West Play This Week, Travel to Northridge Thursday
February 19, 2011 UCSB Loses Overtime Thriller to Boise State, 78-76
February 17, 2011 Gauchos Play Boise State Saturday in BracketBuster Game at Thunderdome
February 16, 2011 Nunnally, Joyner Lead Gauchos Past Fullerton, 86-71
February 16, 2011 Eric 'The Freeze' McArthur Introduced as Legend of the Dome Wednesday
February 14, 2011 Gauchos Take-On Cal State Fullerton Wednesday, Boise State Saturday
February 12, 2011 Late Rally Falls Short UCSB Loses at UC Irvine, 66-63
February 10, 2011 Johnson Scores 31, Gauchos Get Defensive in 59-47 Win at UC Riverside
February 9, 2011 Gauchos Travel South for Pair of Important Big West Games
February 4, 2011 Gauchos Host UC Davis on Prime Ticket Saturday
February 3, 2011 Hot-Shooting Pacific Hands Gauchos Second Straight Loss, 74-68
February 2, 2011 UCSB-Pacific Meet Thursday Night in Thunderdome Showdown on ESPNU
January 22, 2011 Fullerton's Final Rally Sends Gauchos to Defeat, 63-58
January 21, 2011 Tickets On Sale for 2011 ampm Big West Tournament at Honda Center
January 19, 2011 Gauchos Take Two-Game Winning Streak to Fullerton Saturday
January 17, 2011 Johnson Selected Big West Player of the Week
January 14, 2011 Gauchos Host UC Riverside Saturday in Search of Second Straight Win
January 13, 2011 Nunnally, Johnson Lead Gauchos Past UC Irvine, 71-58
January 13, 2011 UCSB-Cal Poly Blue-Green Rivalry Game to Air Live on KCOY/CBS 12
January 12, 2011 Gauchos to Host UC Irvine Thursday in Key Big West Contest
January 8, 2011 Last Second Three Helps Pacific Beat UCSB, 57-54
January 8, 2011 Home fires still burn for Nunnally
January 7, 2011 Gauchos Travel to Pacific Saturday
January 6, 2011 Johnson's Big Second Half Leads UCSB Past UC Davis, 77-65
January 6, 2011 Pastorek is the whole enchilada
January 4, 2011 Gauchos Travel North in Search of First Big West Win
December 31, 2010 Weiner's Heroics Lead UCSB to 75-67 OT Win Over Fresno Pacific
December 28, 2010 Ice Cold Gauchos Drop Big West Opener to Long Beach State, 71-55
December 27, 2010 UCSB Hosts Rival Long Beach State on ESPNU in Big West Opener Tuesday
December 21, 2010 Weiner, Reserves Lead the Way as Gauchos Coast Past Cal Baptist, 76-52
December 21, 2010 Jordan Weiner: A Great Example
December 18, 2010 First Half Surge Leads No. 10 San Diego State Past UCSB, 90-64
December 16, 2010 James Nunnally helps UCSB upset UNLV
December 16, 2010 Somogyi gets a pick-me-up as he yearns for home near holidays
December 16, 2010 UCSB Travels to No. 10 San Diego State Saturday
December 15, 2010 UCSB Goes on the Road to Stun No. 22 UNLV, 68-62
December 10, 2010 Gauchos Travel to Nationally-Ranked UNLV, San Diego State
December 7, 2010 Brothers help UCSB star find success
December 2, 2010 UCSB Travels to Santa Clara for Saturday Game
December 1, 2010 Nunnally's Career-High 29 Leads Gauchos Past Loyola Marymount, 77-67
November 30, 2010 Gauchos Host Loyola Marymount Wednesday, Travel to Santa Clara Saturday
November 27, 2010 Gauchos Can't Overcome Big Deficit, Fall at Portland, 75-63
November 23, 2010 Gauchos Head North Again, Play at Portland on Saturday
November 20, 2010 Gauchos Down 'Dogs, 69-54
November 20, 2010 Johnson Scores Career-High 35 to Lead UCSB Past Fresno State, 69-54
November 17, 2010 Bay Area Gaucho Huddle Set for Dec. 4
November 17, 2010 Gauchos Play Fresno State in Thunderdome Opener Saturday
November 14, 2010 Gauchos Lose Thriller to Oregon in Tournament's Final Game, 72-70
November 12, 2010 Gauchos Go Small to Win Season Opener, 65-49 over Denver
November 10, 2010 Big West-Favorite UCSB Opens Season at BTI Invitational at Oregon
November 3, 2010 Gauchos Open Season Ranked 12th in Mid-Major Poll
October 27, 2010 Gaucho Basketball Teams Previewed at Media Preview Luncheon
September 30, 2010 UCSB is Popular Choice to Repeat as Big West Champions
September 13, 2010 Basketball Schedules Released, Season Ticket Renewal Deadline Extended
August 20, 2010 Gaucho Basketball Golf Tournament Set for Sept. 30