Amidst the fervor of the USC football team’s remarkable undefeated run in 2023, one notable figure stood out among the crowd – former Trojan guard Jordan McLaughlin. McLaughlin, now a Minnesota Timberwolves point guard, couldn’t contain his enthusiasm as he witnessed his alma mater’s triumph on the field.
McLaughlin’s Journey from USC to the NBA
Harking back to his college days, McLaughlin donned the Trojan jersey for four seasons, serving as a starter in the backcourt from 2014 to 2018. During his tenure at USC, he showcased his remarkable skills, averaging nearly 13 points per game, close to six assists, and almost two steals in over 125 games for the Men of Troy.
Following his collegiate career, the NBA draft did not beckon for McLaughlin in 2018. Nevertheless, he refused to let this setback deter him. He embarked on a path through the G-League with the Brooklyn Nets for the 2018-19 season, though he was eventually waived. Fortuitously, the Minnesota Timberwolves extended an invitation to their G-League squad, where McLaughlin’s talent shone bright enough to earn him a coveted two-way contract with the NBA roster.
McLaughlin’s Impact on the Timberwolves
With the Timberwolves, McLaughlin swiftly transitioned into an integral role. He secured a standard NBA contract and emerged as a valuable reserve for the team, complementing standout players like Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. McLaughlin’s skills were particularly instrumental in bolstering the Timberwolves during playoff runs over the past two seasons.
Despite logging approximately 17 minutes per game over his four-season NBA journey, McLaughlin’s contributions remained impactful, averaging around five points, four assists, and a steal in each season despite the limited playtime. His remarkable ascent from undrafted rookie to a significant role player on a playoff-bound team underscores his dedication and talent.
A Trojan at Heart
Even as he scaled the heights of NBA success, Jordan McLaughlin’s heart remained loyal to the Trojans. His unwavering support for USC was evident as he cheered vociferously for Caleb Williams and the entire USC squad during their 2023 undefeated streak. McLaughlin’s journey from USC standout to NBA star serves as an inspiring testament to his determination and passion for the game.