SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Growing up Jordan, 23, and Ryan Roland, 22, had the typical relationship as two brothers playing basketball.
“He never let me win, that was for sure. I never got to beat him in one-on-one when we were younger,” said Ryan.
“I was definitely the older brother that was beating up on him a little bit for sure,” said Jordan.
And their games have grown a lot since then, but in different ways.
“He’s going out there, he’s gonna score on you, that’s just what’s gonna happen,” said Ryan of his brother Jordan’s game.
“He’s more of a point guard. Probably more well-rounded,” Jordan said with a smile of his brother Ryan’s game.
Jordan graduated from Westhill in 2015 and headed to George Washington. After, two years in D.C., he transferred to Northeastern where he would star for two seasons. This past season, he led the nation in scoring for almost the first full month of play after nearly two nearly 40-point nights back-to-back against Boston University and Harvard.
“Beginning of the year was crazy, I wasn’t expecting to get off to that hot of a start,” said Jordan.
“Even my teammates were like what is this guy doing. And I was like ‘yo I didn’t even know he had this in him’,” said Ryan.
“It’s funny because before our first game I was just joking around with one of my assistants ‘hey the first day is the easiest day to lead the country in scoring’ and I ended up having 39 that night and then 42 two days later. So, it was kinda wild how things worked out,” said Jordan.
Ryan left Westhill in 2016 for Mercyhurst, following in his dad Rahsaah’s footsteps who played their as well. But he also transferred after two years, coming back to Syracuse and playing for Le Moyne.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how his path worked out. Similar to me I also didn’t play much when I was younger, my first couple years of college,” said Jordan. “To end up being one of the best players on his team as a senior. I think he led the team in scoring and assists. His assist to turnover ratio was crazy. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Both Rolands led their teams in scoring and became all-conference players and helped their teams to make NCAA tournament appearances. But now, they want to take their games overseas.
“Really not going in with any expectations, I’m just hoping I can find a good spot and hoping I can work myself up the ladder over there,” said Jordan. “That chance to kinda get to show yourself a little more after the season, I didn’t get to go through that process which is a little disappointing but hopefully things will still work out.”
“I kinda want to use this to get into coaching too. That’s what I want to do. I feel like going over to Europe learning new styles of play, I’ve already played for three coaches here,” said Ryan. “I just really like learn new stuff about the game. That’s really what I’m most excited about going over there.”
Jordan and Ryan got to finish college together because of Jordan’s redshirt season at Northeastern. While, it was not the same as playing together with Westhill winning back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015, they were able to share experiences from miles away. They hope to do that again at the next level.
“It’s definitely cool having someone going through a season with you at the same time,” said Ryan.
“It’s something that we can lean on each other if we have any questions or just being in the same situation. Coming home just being able to work out with each other knowing that we both have the same goal is huge. And hopefully we’ll be in the same time zone so we’ll be able to talk more, we won’t have to worry about that,” said Jordan.
The path to the pros is new to both of them, but through their experiences as transfers they have learned patience.
“Rookies go last. So, you’re kinda just really playing the waiting game. That’s all you can do. Just stay ready literally,” said Ryan.