Two-time NEWS All-Maine basketball team selection Jordan Cook could possibly miss his junior season at the University of Maine.
The junior forward-center for the Black Bears has missed most of the preseason this year due to an as yet undiagnosed physical condition affecting his conditioning and stamina and is taking some time off for medical reasons, according to Paul Cook, his father, and head coach Ted Woodward.
“He’s had a numerous amount of tests done, but we haven’t found the source of his problems yet,” said Paul Cook, a former Black Bear player (1980-84) and assistant coach. “It’s not serious, but it’s enough that — given the rigors of Division I basketball — it’s enough to keep him from doing what he needs to do to be effective.”
Woodward was non-committal regarding the option of redshirting Cook, or what his playing status was.
“He’s taken a personal leave of absence from the team for medical reasons,” “Right now, that’s all I can say.”
Paul Cook credited Woodward and the UMaine staff for being extremely patient and understanding while his son tried to work through and identify his ailment.
“It’s been ongoing — I’d say — at least since the end of his freshman year. He hasn’t felt 100 percent since then,” Cook said. “Hopefully they will resolve themselves shortly. He’s still not feeling good, but I had lunch with him [Sunday] and he did seem noticeably better to me.”
Jordan Cook played in 28 of Maine’s 30 games last season, starting 18. He averaged 3.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game last year. As a freshman, he saw action in 21 games — averaging 0.7 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.2 minutes a game.
“He had some problems early on [as a boy] when he was growing up to his current height and this may be related to that,” said Paul Cook.
Jordan Cook, who led Hampden Academy to a state championship in 2005, is 6-foot-10. He added five pounds in the offseason to weigh in at 235 now.
“It’s very frustrating for Jordan and us as well,” said Paul Cook. “Especially the not knowing what it is exactly, but Ted has been wonderful with all this. He hasn’t decided about redshirting yet, but it’s starting to look like he may have to.”
A player must petition the NCAA for a redshirt season, which means a scholarship player can practice with their team and receive financial aid, but not compete against outside teams. They are also given one more year of athletic eligibility.
In addition to Cook, UMaine is also without the services of former Westbrook guard Jason Hight, who is out for the season with a medical issue and will serve as a volunteer coach, and forward Philippe Tchekane Bofia, who has been limited due to a leg injury since last season and may not play this season.