Ben Jordan, a fourth-year sophomore righthander at Kentucky, died Monday, Jan. 11, the university announced Tuesday. He was 22.
Jordan played both baseball and basketball for the Wildcats. Baseball coach Nick Mingione said in a statement he was devastated by the loss.
“There are no words to express the shock and heartache our team is feeling with the loss of Ben,” Mingione said. “He was an absolute joy to coach and be around. HIs coaches, teammates and brothers loved him dearly. His smile, his 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 hearts always.”
Jordan came to Kentucky as a high-profile baseball recruit in 2017 after a standout prep career that included an appearance in the Under Armor All-America Game. He underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring of his senior year of high school, however, and the injury kept him sidelined the following spring.
Jordan appeared in 10 games for the Wildcats in 2019. That fall, with the Kentucky basketball team in need of more depth at forward, Jordan, who was listed at 6-foot-9 and was a standout prep player, joined the team. He mostly served as a practice player, but did appear in two games.
Jordan was slated to rejoin the baseball team later in the spring, following the end of basketball season. Both seasons were canceled before that could happen, however. He had returned full-time to baseball and was expected to pitch out of the Wildcats’ bullpen in 2021.