Clemson Aaron Gordon vs. Arizona Aaron Gordon

Clemson Aaron Gordon (left) and Arizona Aaron Gordon
Clemson Aaron Gordon (left) and Arizona Aaron Gordon

With March Madness approaching, I’m comparing some of the most impressive first-year college students in the country. My goal is to see who has the most potential to make the world a better place. This week, I break down Aaron Gordon who attends Clemson University and Aaron Gordon who attends the University of Arizona.

Tale of the tape

Arizona Aaron Gordon is 6’9″1 and 225 pounds, with a 9′ reach and 7′ wingspan.  He can also do this:

Clemson Aaron Gordon is 5’8″2 and 145 pounds, but he does shoot free throws quite well. There are no recent measurements of his reach or wingspan and Youtube searches for “Clemson Aaron Gordon” just show a whole bunch more dunks by Arizona Aaron Gordon.

Advantage: Arizona Aaron Gordon

Before college

Arizona Aaron Gordon attended Archbishop Mitty High School in California where he won two state championships, was named Mr. Basketball in the State, and won MVP of the McDonald’s High School All-America game. He chose Arizona after considering offers from Kentucky, Oregon and Washington.

Clemson Aaron Gordon attended Walt Whitman High School in Maryland where he had a perfect GPA, was offered the Rensselaer Medal for Math and Science, and did research at the National Institutes of Health that was published in the article “Twins Discordant for Myositis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Show Markedly Enriched Autoantibodies in the Affected Twin” in the Journal of Musculoskeletal Disorders. He chose Clemson after considering offers from Princeton, Duke, and Vanderbilt.

Advantage: Push

First-year performance

Arizona Aaron Gordon is averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds per game and also fills up the stat sheet with assists, blocks, and steals. His performance is a big reason Arizona has spent much of this season as the top-ranked team in the nation. He has also proven to be an exceptional teammate who plays with effort, intelligence, and maturity beyond his years.

Clemson Aaron Gordon maintains his perfect GPA while pursuing extracurricular activities that include leadership positions in Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries and Engineers Without Borders. He is designing a water system for a village in rural Nicaragua and spent his Fall “Break” in Cange, Haiti installing a water system there. At Clemson, he is spearheading a new Grand Challenge Scholars program to help more students have similar experiences to his.

Advantage: Push

Upside potential

Arizona Aaron Gordon projects as a lottery-pick whenever he decides to declare for the NBA draft. He has the potential to become a non-cowboy version of Karl Malone, who is the 2nd leading scorer in NBA history. 

"The mailman"
“The mailman” – Karl Malone

Clemson Aaron Gordon should be sought after by the best engineering firms and nonprofits when he graduates. He has the potential to become the engineering version of Paul Farmer, who is co-founder of international social justice and health organization Partners In Health.

"The man who would cure the world" - Paul Farmer
“The man who would cure the world” – Paul Farmer

Advantage: Clemson Aaron Gordon3


This is a tough call. Both Aaron Gordons have exceptional qualifications and incredibly bright futures. But I have to give Clemson Aaron Gordon a slight advantage at this point. I hope he can stay grounded in the face of all the fame and publicity that come with being a world-changing college student.

  1. with shoes []
  2. without shoes []
  3. I was a Michael Jordan Bulls fan and never liked Karl Malone []