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Sophomore guard Jordan Dingle is the reigning Ivy League Rookie of Year.

Credit: Chase Sutton

The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn men's basketball's Jordan Dingle 15 questions about his sport, his time at Penn, and his life overall. Here's what the sophomore guard had to say.

1. Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Jordan Dingle, sophomore at Penn and point guard on the men’s basketball team.

2. How did you first get into playing basketball?

My father is an AAU program director, so I’ve been around it since before I can remember. I’ve been around different teams that he coached from tournament to tournament. Seeing all those guys play made me really develop a love for it.

3. Who has been your biggest inspiration or role model?

I’d probably say it’s between Batman and Kobe Bryant. I see those two people, incredible work ethics, we all know about Kobe’s obsession, habits, and how hard he worked. Batman is the same type of thing; he has to work really, really hard to keep up. He's a human amongst superheroes and God-level beings, and he’s going toe-to-toe with them everyday.

4. Why did you choose to play basketball at Penn?

I’ve been very interested in business and the world of finance, and Wharton is the best business school in the country. Playing for Penn has provided me with the opportunity to learn under a really good coach in coach Donahue and the entire coaching staff. We get to play some really competitive games against some really good teams with the Big 5 teams, obviously, and some of the nonconference games that we schedule.

5. How have you been staying in shape and getting on-court work in during the pandemic?

I have access to a gym at home. I actually just came from there. It’s open to the public and there’s a strength enhancement coach there who I’m working with as well, and he’s helped me target some of my weak spots that I have in my game. It’s been really great. I’m really thankful.

6. Did you pick up any new hobbies during quarantine?

I did. Early in quarantine, I taught myself how to juggle. It started as a competition between my teammates, and right now, I’m stuck at three balls, but getting three was good enough for me. 

7. What is your favorite memory from your rookie season?

I would say it’s a tie, obviously my first game [against Alabama], which is a lot of people's favorite experience. It was my first time playing in an environment like that, playing in front of that many people. We got a win at the end against a really good team, our first win away against an SEC team in program history. A funnier moment was when we were away at Yale, staying in the hotel, and a bunch of us just decided to throw on the bath robes that came with the hotel and then wander around, and we showed up at our coaches’ door, 15 of us from 6-foot-4 to 7-foot-3 in bath robes, standing in our coaches’ room.

8. Besides the Palestra, where was your favorite place to play last year?

The energy at a couple of places was really spectacular in my opinion. My favorite was probably Villanova. As soon as we walked in as we were warming up, their student section was shouting all types of things at our captains AJ [Brodeur] and Ryan [Betley]. The energy in that gym was amazing.

9. Who are you looking forward to playing against in the future?

I’m looking forward to playing against everybody. I don’t think there’s any one team in particular that I’m more excited for than any of the others. I’m just ready to get out there and dominate everybody the way that I know our team can.

10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

If you asked me this pre-pandemic, I could give you a pretty good answer, but given what’s going on now, it’s pretty hard to say. In five years, I do see myself, God willing, as long as I stay healthy, playing professional basketball at some level. I know that I’m good enough to play professionally. It's just a matter of where my career takes me at that point. 

11. If you could go back in time one year, what’s one piece of advice you’d give yourself?

One piece of advice that I’d give myself would be to cherish all of the moments that you’re going to have your freshman year because it’s going to come to an abrupt stop in the middle of March because of a pandemic. Cherish every little thing, every homework assignment, every late night staying up trying to finish something, early classes, being with my friends, being around people in general, playing with my teammates, everything.

12. Who are your favorite musical artists or bands right now?

I’m very glad that you asked me that. My favorite artist right now is A Boogie wit da Hoodie. He’s my number one right now. Nobody else is coming close. Some other artists that I like are Polo G, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, [and] NBA YoungBoy. I probably listen to those guys more than anybody else. 

13. Have you watched any good shows or movies recently?

I recently just watched this anime show called "Hunter x Hunter"; a lot of my friends told me about it. I had tried it before, and it was really slow at the beginning, but I gave it another shot, and it was amazing. I loved it, and I went through it insanely fast. 

14. What’s your go-to postgame snack?

Less than I care to admit, but it would probably be some sort of junk food like honey buns or Cheez-Its Extra Toasty. I’m a really big foodie. I like junk food stuff like that.

15. Who do you think is the GOAT (greatest of all time) in NBA history?

I think when you argue about who’s the GOAT, I think that it’s about legacy and impact, so in that regard, I think LeBron James makes a really good case. Obviously, Michael Jordan is another one that comes to mind just in my time that I’ve been around. I didn’t see Wilt or Kareem, so I would probably say one of those two. I cannot let this interview go without saying that, in my opinion, the best player in basketball history, the most skilled player I’ve ever seen, is none other than Kobe Bryant.