Jordyn Oliver is a quiet storm. Relentless, yet controlled. Her game grabs your attention but isn’t overbearing. Oliver can fill up the box score without dominating the ball. Her game, like the genre of music, is smooth. There isn’t much Oliver can’t do on the floor. She scores at will, but is a tremendous passer. She loves to hit the glass and can defend multiple positions. It’s not far-fetched to think that Oliver may be the best two way guard in the class of 2019.
Recently we sat down with Jordyn at the Nike EYBL Nationals in Chicago to discuss playing for CY Fair, the marketing of WNBA players, why Texas has the best basketball in America and more. --By Christian Mordi / @thedribbledrop on Instagram and Twitter
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to choose one word to describe your game, what would it be and why?
Jordyn Oliver: Diverse. I score, I love to rebound and I can pass. I feel unlike many other kids my age, I’m not just focused on scoring and proving I can score. I don’t hold the ball. I create for myself and others.
TheDribbleDrop: If you were to choose a song that best describes your style of play, what would it be and why?
Jordyn Oliver: Hmmm.. that’s interesting. I would say the first verse of Meek Mill “Dreams and Nightmares” captures me perfectly. I can relate to that a lot. I wasn’t a household name coming up really in the AAU circuit when I was younger. I relate to that song and his journey a lot.
TheDribbleDrop: As a wing, what do you prefer at the point guard spot alongside you: A pure passing point guard that is looking to set guys up and knock down shots, or a pick and roll heavy, ball dominant guard who will hit you in spots to knock down shots?
Jordyn Oliver: Personally, I would like to play with more of the Russell Westbrook type of point guard. I want someone playing alongside me who will attack as well and not look for me to be the only one scoring. I want to play alongside a guard that will not back down to anyone. A guard that will rebound and push on the break and create. Russ is my type of guard for sure.
TheDribbleDrop: You guys play a rigorous schedule in the Texas. You have numerous schools ranked in the top 25-50 schools in America according to USA Today. Schools like Duncanville, Plano, Timberview, and Amarillo to name a few. You play high school basketball at Prosper High. Do you think the Texas has the best basketball in America?
Jordyn Oliver: Oh for sure. We are number one in America, no doubt. If you want to really compete, you come to Texas. Just in my district alone, we have four top 20 ESPN ranked players. You have Jaden Owens, Jordyn Merritt, Nyah Green and myself in the same district. Every night we are competing against each other. Their aren’t many states that have that. They may have one in a district and numerous sprinkled across the state, but we have elite players all over Texas. I mean you have Duncanville who has Hannah Gusters. You have Sarah Andrews and MacArthur. Every night all over Texas you are bound to see a ESPN Top 50 player.
TheDribbleDrop: You guys have a shot clock?
Jordyn Oliver: No we don’t have a shot clock and I think we should have one. I’ve been in games that coaches stall and hold the ball the final two minutes of games. I would much rather keep playing. I don’t think we are teaching kids how to manage the shot clock properly by playing without one.
TheDribbleDrop: You play with the AAU basketball with CY Fair. Tell me why that is an ideal fit for you and your style of play.
Jordyn Oliver: Playing with CY Fair has been awesome. I play alongside Jaden Owens. She is really good at being vocal and keeps defenses honest. She does a great job at saying what we are doing well and what we need to adjust mid-game. I’m not the most vocal person and it’s really good to have her alongside me as co-captain of this team to bounce ideas off of.
I like the fact that we have a young team. We only have four 2019 players. This is kind of like a teaching year. This year has given me the chance to pass things along that I have learned along the way.
TheDribbleDrop: The Head Coach of your team is from Jersey. Tell me about your relationship with her.
Jordyn Oliver: This is my first year with her. Coach Katie is a wonderful coach. She pushes me out of my comfort zone in the best ways. I have learned so much playing for her about myself than I have in my previous summers.
She always sits me down after games we talk about what happened. She always encourages me to expand myself on the floor. She always pushes me to become more vocal and lead. Coach builds me up and knows what I’m capable of.
TheDribbleDrop: You play on the EYBL circuit. For those who don't know, tell us a bit about the league.
Jordyn Oliver: The EYBL is the best league in America. If you want to see how you compare against the best players in America than the EYBL is the league you need to play in. Many players that you will see on the highest level in college play in the EYBL.
One thing I love about the league is the variation of styles of play. All Ohio has shooters that spread out the floor and knock down shots. Team Takeover has a relentless style on both sides of the floor. They never let up. Every team plays differently and that’s what I love about the EYBL.
One of the cons of the league is I don’t see the synergy between the boys and girls side as much as I feel I should. I just got finished watching the boys final game on ESPN. The girls championship game was nowhere to be found. I feel like the boys side gets way more publicity than we do. I have a friend on an EYBL team. They have suitcases, leggings, shirts, all that. We get sneakers like the boys, which is cool, but we don’t get as much as the boys. I feel like if we did get some of those items we would market the brand even more.
We don’t get as many sessions as the boys either. We only get three. I think we need to evolve, but their has been progress and I know we are heading in the right direction.
TheDribbledrop: What ways would you suggest to provide better synergy then?
Jordyn Oliver: I think one way to get that synergy would be to merge the boys and girls side at an session. What about having Peach Jam for the Boys and Girls side in the same location? Unless you know someone personally who plays on the boys EYBL, you may miss it all and not ever network with the boys side of things. It should just be one circuit. We don’t have to follow each other on all dates, but there should be at least one date that we all intertwined. That way everyone can watch everyone. That would make it more fun. Make it more of an experience bigger than the games.
TheDribbleDrop: Your ranked #6 in the class of 2019. Many would consider you a player with WNBA potential. Adam Silver recently talked about ways to improve viewership, for example extending the season deeper into the fall. He also voiced his views on the issues with marketing the WNBA at the moment.
As a kid with professional aspirations, do you think the game is marketed well enough?
Jordyn Oliver: Yes and no. I know I have close friends who do watch basketball but still don’t know a lot about players within the WNBA. Personally I feel that women don’t advocate like that and promote the brand as much as we should. We had Kevin Durant come out to Nike Nationals and watch the championship game. We have the whole Chicago Sky team playing right down the street. We only saw them at the beginning and orientation. They weren’t really at the games. I don’t recall seeing any appearances from them or many WNBA players in general that didn’t have games last week. The NBA players show their face way more at EYBL games that WNBA players do. I’ve seen Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Vic Oladipo and Brad Beal at games. I’m sure the WNBA could’ve made sure the players were at the EYBL championship game. Maybe even coordinate a Chicago Sky game at a convenient time in between our games so that all the EYBL players could go to the game and support as well. We can do more.
TheDribbleDrop: You are committed to Baylor. Tell me why it was an ideal fit for you?
Jordyn Oliver: I committed the day after Mother’s day my freshmen year. Baylor is two hours away from my home. It’s far away but not too far. Coach Mulkey is a great coach and very family oriented. I visited other schools and I didn’t see the players hang out with their coaches or staff members. It was kind of like everyone did their own thing. I felt like at Baylor they did everything together. The desire to be with each other isn’t forced either, it’s organic. I’m a very goofy and playful person. I like being around my teammates. It was a perfect fit.