He may not have the legendary nickname of his old man, but Jordan Glover is trying to make sure the family name is still associated with winning basketball at The College of New Jersey.
And he’s doing a pretty good job, as he was a key contributor in the Lions 13-3 start that included an 8-1 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The former Lawrence High standout is the son of Jimmy Glover—better known as “Dr. Love” when he and Greg Grant took then-Trenton State College to the 1989 NCAA Division III championship game. That team went 30-2 and drew national recognition as the 5-foot-7 Grant led the nation in scoring en route to an NBA career, while his former Trenton High teammate provided scoring and rebounding underneath. Jimmy Glover had over 1,200 points in three seasons.
“My dad tells me all the time how he was in the post and would block everything that came down there,” Glover said. “He was just a different beast.”
Needless to say, the Son of Love has heard the stories about how Grant was recruited by coach Kevin Bannon out of a seafood shop and how his dad transferred from Division I Richmond, sparking a slew of local players to transfer home from other schools. Their storybook season led to ticket lines being out the door and down the sidewalk for home games, and appearances on Philadelphia and New York news reports.
Several years before Glover joined the Lions, the team’s 25th Anniversary was recognized at a home game, and a current TCNJ player asked Jimmy if he thought his team back then could beat the current Lions. Without batting an eye, Jimmy told him, “Our team could beat your team right now wearing our suits and dress shoes.”
That quickly ended the conversation, as people who were not there just could not grasp haw the team captured all of New Jersey.
“He said it was a lot different,” Glover said. “When my dad transferred from Richmond, everyone was excited for him to come home. He said a lot of people would come out, and it was crazy. He talks about how coach Bannon was always very competitive and how he always pushed my dad and Greg to lead the team.”
And now, another transfer named Glover is trying to propel the Lions, and serve as a leader of his team.
Glover actually applied to TCNJ in high school but did not get accepted, so he took a full basketball scholarship to Division II Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut. He quickly discovered it was not the right fit and also suffered a bout with home sickness, so Glover red shirted for basketball.
Still eyeing dad’s alma mater, Glover pounded the books and made Dean’s List at Post, which impressed the TCNJ admissions office enough to accept Glover the second time around. He also got basketball references from former Lions coach Kelly Williams, a Jim Glover teammate at TSC and Lawrence coach Jeff Molinelli, which impressed incoming coach Matt Goldsmith.
Their first year together produced a 16-12 season and trip to the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament finals. Glover started all but one game, averaging 11.1 points and 5.9 rebounds and earning NJAC Rookie of the Week twice.
As a sophomore, former Lawrence standout Bobby Brackett returned from an injury redshirt and high-scoring Corey Stanford transferred in. The Lions improved to 18-8, losing in the NJAC semis, but Glover’s stats dipped to 7.6 ppg and 3.6 rpg. His 3-point total went from 54 to 31.
“He was a big piece to what we were doing his freshman year, just because we weren’t as deep and didn’t have quite as much talent as we do now,” Goldsmith said. “But he was a real important piece that first year. Last year our frontcourt was really talented. We got Bobby Brackett back and Corey Stanford transferred in, and he scored over 1,000 in his college career. Jordan was a little bit less of a focal point in our offense.”
Glover took a mature approach to those first two seasons and accepted them as lessons.
“I’ve learned a lot,” he said. “I think my game has progressed. My freshman year my coach put me in a lot of situations where I could learn from my mistakes, and I also had to humble myself last year when he got a lot more talent into the program. I had to learn the game a lot more and learn to be humble and help my teammates, whether I’m on the court or not.”
With Brackett and Stanford gone, the former Cardinal is once more a key piece to the Lions, who were off to their best start of the Glover-Goldsmith era. Glover was fifth on the team in scoring (9.0) and rebounding (4.5), and second in blocked shots (10).
His value goes well beyond stats as he has alternated from power forward to center. That’s significant because Glover is only 6’5” and, as Goldsmith noted, in TCNJ’s offense the one through four spots are all similar but the five is completely different.
“If he was going from power forward to small forward it wouldn’t be much of a difference because all our guys, one to four, essentially have to read a ball screen, shoot the ball, make decisions with the ball in your hand, and attack off the dribble,” the coach said. “Our five is different. We play through our five, he’s coming up through the high post, he’s setting ball screens, he’s doing a lot of post isolations. To play bigger is a challenge because offensively he’s doing completely different things, and he’s handled it in stride.”
It is a challenge Glover embraces, as he prides himself on being able to play any position called upon. That versatility showed itself in his first two seasons when he went from playing inside as a freshman to small forward last year. This season he is getting looks in the post but still shooting from the perimeter while also handling the ball and getting his share of rebounds.
“My coach can put me anywhere,” Glover said. “I can play any position, guard through center. I think this year I’m more flexible and can just learn from each game and play with confidence because my coach let me learn from my mistakes.”
Not to mention, he plays defense.
“He’s solid as a defender,” Goldsmith said. “That’s one of the areas we worked on the last three years, especially team-defense wise. When you put him on an individual, he does a really good job taking away one on one stuff, but he struggled with team defense a little early. He’s gotten much better as time has gone on.”
In doing so, he has become somewhat of the indispensable man.
“He’s a really important piece, he’s integral to everything we do,” Goldsmith said. “He’s also an important piece to the energy we have in practice every day. He comes in with a smile on his face. He’s always yelling and clapping and getting guys excited. He’s an important piece on the court but just as important in the locker room for us. When he’s not there you’ll notice in the first five or 10 minutes because the gym is just a little bit quieter. He’s not some kid just screaming about made shots. He gets excited for everything we’re doing.”
Glover feels that is merely an extension of his personality and passion. He was told by his father at an early age that no one is going to make Jordan a better player more than himself, and what comes from within. It was a message he received, as the son’s devotion to basketball is to the point where he gets excited by just hearing a ball bouncing in the gym.
“I don’t take practice as just another day, just another practice,” Glover said. “I take it like it’s another day for me to get better and to just love the game even more. When I bring energy, it’s not that I’m just going out there trying to be a loudmouth in the gym. I just love the game that much.”
What else would one expect, from the son of Dr. Love?