By Madisen Carter
Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Poole proved that ambition, dedication and hard work can take you far on the court. It is no secret that Poole balled out in the last half of his second season as he improved all aspects of his game.
Compared to Poole’s rookie season when he averaged 8.8 points, shooting 33.3% from the field and 27.9% from behind the arc, he reached higher numbers this past season. He averaged 12 points, shooting 43.2% from the field and 35.1% behind the arc.
His success can not only be based on his born talent, but also on all the work he put inside and outside of Chase Center. Poole worked with the Warriors’ player development staff throughout the season, including assistant coach and director of player development, Chris DeMarco.
Before the 2020-21 NBA season, Poole also spent some time with Coach Packie Turner at the UPBasketball Training facility in Burlingame, California.
“Jordan Poole wanted to make a jump,” Coach Packie said. “He wants to be great. First step was being consistent in everything he does. Day in and day out, showing up and being focused on his craft.”
That is exactly what Poole did. He and Packie worked together as they focused on his ability to finish around the rim, coming off step ups and pin downs and finding open threes with confidence and balance.
“Jordan and I put an emphasis on less is more,” Packie said. “Jordan is so skilled and smooth it sometimes can be hard to keep it simple as everything feels effortless for him.”
Poole had an opportunity to work on his craft in February 2021 when he played some games for the Warriors G-League in Santa Cruz.
“When I was down there [in Santa Cruz,] I just took full advantage of it and decided to try to better myself as much as I could,” Poole told Warriors Studio back in May.
During Poole’s time with the Santa Cruz Warriors, he was an important asset helping the team to a 9-3 record. Poole showcased what he can bring to the court as he averaged 22.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the 11 games he played in before rejoining Golden State in March.
Before spending his time in Santa Cruz, Poole averaged 5.3 points in January, shooting 44.7% from the field. In March when he returned, his playing time increased as he averaged 18.5 points, shooting 49% from the field and 39% behind the arc. He had 10 straight games in March scoring in double digits.
In his first game back with the Warriors, Poole showcased his improved talent with a 26-point game against the Suns in Phoenix, shooting over 50%. He went 10-16 from the field and 5-10 from behind the arc. It was his first game of the season scoring 20 points or more, and it did not stop there.
After that, Poole had eight more games scoring 20 points or more. The most memorable game was against the New Orleans Pelicans at the end of the regular season, where he scored his career-high 38 points leading the Warriors to a 125-122 win at Chase Center.
According to the Golden State Warriors Twitter, since Stephen Curry, Poole became the first Warrior aged 21 or under to score 35 points or more in a single game.
Poole’s success also included him reaching 1,000 career points during the Warriors game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on May 6th. He finished the season with a total of 1,115 points.
“No surprise that Jordan had the year he had,” Coach Packie said. “Given his commitment to his development day in and day out.”
The Warriors picked up Poole’s third-year contract option back in December 2020, and he seems ready to continue to work hard and contribute what he can to the team. Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, expressed that Poole is a potential candidate for the Warriors Sixth Man for the 2021-22 season, NBC Sports reported in May.
“I want to stay here as long as I can and just continue to work,” Poole told Warriors Studio. “So, just being appreciative and grateful for every situation, every opportunity I’m given, and just make the most of it.”