The ability to handle pressure can make or break an athlete’s legacy. For most high-level athletes the pressure follows them throughout their career and defines who they become. Saint Louis’ incoming freshman star, Carte’Are Gordon, has made it his identity to capitalize on this pressure and put an entire city on his back.
This season, Gordon will embark on something that hasn’t been done in over 20 years in St. Louis. He will begin his career as the highest rated recruit to play for the Saint Louis Billikens since Larry Hughes joined SLU out of Christian Brothers College High School.
Also, in the likeness of Hughes, Gordon is a local product, growing up about 10 miles from SLU’s campus, who has grown to become one of the best basketball players to ever come out of the St. Louis area.
Gordon’s resume is highly impressive. He has achieved back-to-back state championships for Webster Groves High School, a championship with the United States U-17 National Team, and a championship with MoKan Elite on the AAU circuit.
Gordon is a proven winner and a monster on the court. He averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds per game his senior season along with leading his team in steals and blocks. With a body of work that shows he is gearing up for the professional stage, he has one more task at hand– Representing his hometown at the school that epitomizes the city.
“That’s really important to me,” Gordon said (h/t CBS Sports). “After I go there, hopefully other St. Louis kids will realize we can make our legacy at home. And that’s the main goal — to build a legacy at home and start something great at Saint Louis.”
Gordon is a trailblazer in a sense. While young stars shoot for the biggest and brightest collegiate programs, he has chosen to not just stay home, but turn his school and city into a winner. Gordon is the perfect addition to Saint Louis not only for his NBA ready size, standing 6’8” and 230 lbs, but his contributions all over the floor.
He is dominant on offense, both in the post and mid-range, as well as his playmaking abilities with the ball. He can play just about any position needed. Since a young age, he has displayed a physical game in the paint on both sides of the ball, but also has the ability to bring the ball up the floor with the court vision of a point guard.
The other key ingredient he brings to the table is his maturity. Gordon is a very coachable and unselfish player who doesn’t let his level of stardom get to his head.
“What I’ve enjoyed about him so far, and I hope it continues, is that he’s been extremely coachable,” said Billikens Head Coach Travis Ford (h/t STL Today). “You correct him on something, and he does it the next time, exactly how you tell him. Even guys who listen have a tough time changing habits. He’s done it immediately.”
With a resume like Gordon’s the Billikens are getting the total package. While it would be easy for him to feel as though he is owed the spotlight and have everything go through him, Gordon continues to stay humble. He enters the arena daily with an all-business mindset, while always knowing there is room for improvement. As a freshman, this will only benefit him as he continues to add to his repertoire and elevate his game for the next level.
This season Saint Louis couldn’t have asked for a better man to step onto Centene Court. His elite skills combined with his personality and his love for his hometown make up a winning combination for success at Saint Louis University. Despite the high expectations, Carte’Are Gordon is ready to rise to the challenge and show why the city of St. Louis needs to be on the map. It is a lot to ask a true freshman to put on his back, but Gordon is one of the best candidates for the job. No pressure.