INDIANAPOLIS — Eron Gordon was an eighth-grader when he picked up his first scholarship offer to play college basketball.
The offer came from Indiana, which makes sense considering Gordon's older brother is Eric Gordon, the former Hoosiers standout now playing for the New Orleans Hornets.
The other brother in the family, Evan, just wrapped up his college career at Indiana after previous stops at Liberty University and Arizona State.
Now it's time for Eron to start thinking about where he's going to school, and many of the elite programs in the country are already lining up.
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The 6-foot-2 guard from Indianapolis has emerged as one of the best players in the class of 2016. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 32 overall prospect in the class, and he was one of the standouts at the talent-packed Adidas Gauntlet event held in his hometown over the weekend.
Playing for an AAU team bearing his oldest brother's name, Eron averaged 27.3 points over the first four of five games. He moved well with the ball, shot consistently from three-point range and had little trouble getting past defenders on his way to the rim.
In the weekend opener, he had a clear lane to the basket on a fast break, breezed nonchalantly toward the basket as if he was going to lay it up, and instead exploded off the floor for a two-handed dunk.
It all looked too easy, but it's Gordon's play-hard-all-the-time mentality that has the attention of the nation's top coaches, including UK's John Calipari.
Gordon said his father — Eric Gordon Sr. — and his NBA-playing brother have both spoken to Calipari multiple times in the past few weeks. He's planning to take his first visit to Lexington next month and listed UK, Duke, Kansas and Indiana as the four schools that have been recruiting him the hardest recently.
The family obviously has multiple connections to Indiana, but Eron Gordon will also have a tie to UK here soon. One of his good friends is fellow Indianapolis standout and Wildcat freshman-to-be Trey Lyles.
"I haven't talked to Trey about it yet, because he hasn't been there yet," Gordon said. "But I'm probably going to get a lot of insight from him. Me and Trey are really close. I've been playing with him since I was really young, and it's going to be pretty fun to see him play there."
Prospects from the class of 2016 are not allowed to take phone calls from college coaches until June 15, so Gordon has not yet spoken directly to Calipari. He mentioned Calipari first when asked which coaches he was most looking forward to hearing from.
Gordon and his father have watched the Wildcats more than is probably to be expected for a family that has sent two kids to Indiana. Eron said Eric Sr. — a former basketball standout at Liberty — likes how Calipari "keeps everybody together and how they play hard ... as a team."
Eron also enjoyed UK's run to the national title game and is planning to watch the Cats even more next season, when Lyles joins the team.
He says there's already a lot to like about the program.
"It's not just because of the draft picks. I like how their main mindset is winning and nothing else. I think that's the problem with college teams: There's a lot of different mindsets. I think when everyone has the same mindset, then they can accomplish more."