UK mourning death of former basketball walk-on Ben Jordan

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — The University of Kentucky is morning the death of student-athlete Ben Jordan, who died Monday at the age of 22. The cause of death was not immediately known.

 

Jordan played baseball at Kentucky and was a walk-on for the basketball team last year. He appeared in two games for John Calipari’s squad last season and gave the team a presence in the middle during practice.

 

Our hearts are broken today,” Calipari said. “We learned early this morning that we have lost Ben Jordan. It is difficult for me to express and to put into words what a tragedy it is to lose a young person too early. Ben impacted our team last season in so many ways with his kind heart, his big smile and his wonderful personality.

 

“He cared so deeply about this place and it meant so much to him to be a part of this team. We are grieving today over the loss of a teammate and a brother, but Ben will not be forgotten. We ask that everyone keep Ben and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this time as we try to find a way forward. Ben, may you rest in peace.”

 

The 6-foot-9 Jordan was a pitcher on the baseball team and made 10 appearances in the 2019 season and was a standout baseball player at West Carter High School in Olive Hill.

 

We are devastated to learn of Ben Jordan’s tragic passing (Monday) night,” Kentucky baseball coach Nick Mingione said. “There are no words to express the shock and heartache our team is feeling with the loss of Ben. He was an absolute joy to coach and be around. His coaches, teammates, and brothers loved him dearly. His smile, sense of humor, and love for this university will never be forgotten. He will be missed beyond measure.

 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben’s family and we will support them in any way we can during this extremely difficult time. We are all hurting and will find a way to carry Ben’s legacy forward and keep him in our heart always.”

 

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart was at a loss for words after hearing of Jordan’s untimely passing.

 

Our hearts are broken today,” Barnhart said. “It is difficult for me to express and to put into words what a tragedy it is to lose a young person too early. Ben impacted our team last season in so many ways with his kind heart, his big smile, and his wonderful personality. He cared so deeply about this place and it meant so much to him to be a part of this team.

 

“We are grieving today over the loss of a teammate and a brother, but Ben will not be forgotten. We ask that everyone keep Ben and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this time as we try to find a way forward. Ben, may you rest in peace.”

 

Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at keith.taylor@kentuckytoday.com or twitter @keithtaylor21

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