From Europe to Australia, Staples-Motley High School graduate Jordan Riewer continues to experience the world through his pro basketball career.
After graduating from high school as the Cardinals' career scoring leader (1,927
points), Riewer went on to a stellar career at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He was named MSUM Athlete of the Year his senior year after leading the Dragons to the 2015 NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in school history.
He led the nation in free-throw percentage (94.9 percent) that year and was second in assist-to-turnover ratio.
His play in the Elite Eight caught the attention of basketball agents and he was signed
out of college to play for the Oettinger Rockets in the German Pro A League and then
with the BK NH Ostrava in the Czech Republic National Basketball League in 2017.
Riewer recently took some time via email to let people know what's going on in his pro career.
Q: When we last did a story on you two years ago, you had started playing in the Czech NBL (National Basketball League). Tell me what you've been doing since the winter of 2017.
Jordan Riewer: Gosh, a lot has changed in two years. I finished up playing in the Czech Republic and when I got home, I had a coaching opportunity at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
I decided at that time it was in my best interest to pursue the coaching gig and I will
forever be grateful for the opportunity that coach Chad Walthall gave me. Coaching is
completely different than playing and I absolutely loved coaching. The interaction with
the guys and the opportunity to go on the road and recruit and meet a bunch of different
families was really fun and enjoyable.
With all that said, of course I missed playing as you only live once and nothing beats
being in a foreign country learning about a new culture, meeting new teammates from
all over the world and, at the end of the day, playing the game you love.
Q: Who are you playing for now? How long does your season run?
JR: Right now I am currently playing for the Central District Lions Basketball Club in the
South Australia Premier League. This is one of the State Leagues in Australia, so the
season runs during the winter months over here which is from March 2 until the end of
July when the playoffs start.
Q: Tell me about a typical week for you?
JR: Well, I usually wake up around 7:45 a.m. and head to the gym with a few of my
teammates to get a workout in which usually lasts until about 10 a.m. After that, I kind of
just have the day to myself to do whatever I want until we have practice at night.
Mondays and Wednesdays I was asked to coach a 16U school team which of I course I
took, and it has been a lot of fun. We only practice Mondays and Wednesdays and play
the games on Saturday mornings so it works out with my schedule really nice.
Q: What have been some of the highlights or best experiences of the last few
JR: This is a tough one. Finishing in the top four in Germany my rookie season was really fun and crazy experience. You play the best of five in Germany for the playoffs and we happened to be down 2-0 in the series vs. Hamburg and ended up coming back to win three straight games to win the series. I'll never forget the fans in Germany.
Australia is just beautiful even though it's the start of winter season over here, being
from Minnesota I think I'll be just fine.
Overall, the best experience has just been meeting new teammates and coaches all
around the world who share the same passion as you do for the great game of
basketball. As they say, life is all about connections and people you meet. The same
can be said for basketball.
Q: What have been some of the toughest adjustments or changes to get used to?
JR: In Europe, the physicality of the game is a lot different and the officials let a lot go. So you better learn how to play through things or you'll have a very tough time.
Australia is very similar to America as far as the game is played, but it's still very
competitive and physical.
Q: You've reached a level of playing that few athletes in Central Minnesota are able to achieve. Do you have any words for high school athletes here?
JR: Listen to your coaches.Create great habits and attack those habits daily. Be the hardest worker and who cares if people think you're weird. Remember school comes first. Support your teammates.Respect your community. Thank your parents.
One of my favourite quotes - "In the heat of battle (competition), you don't rise to your
level, you sink to the habits you have created in your practices (trainings)".
I love this statement because it's so true. I keep telling the younger athletes today that
you become your habits under pressure. So, they better be good ones.
Q: What does the future hold for you? Plans for the summer, next year?
JR: As of right now, I plan on being home sometime around August or September for about a month until I will hopefully be leaving for another job in Europe somewhere. Possiblybe leaving right from Australia to Europe but I should know more by the end of July. I would love to get back home though for about a month to see family and friends.