After helping the Knights to their second straight Class 2A state championship, Jordan left Baltimore for Cincinnati. But being eight hours away from home quickly proved to be "kind of a challenge" for Jordan. Playing time with the Musketeers was scarce for the freshman, who appeared in just 16 games during the 2010-11 season. And off the court, Jordan missed his younger brother.
"I have a bond with him. And not seeing him every day or hearing [his] voice or just hanging out with [him], not being there, it was hard."
At St. Elizabeth School near Morgan State, Myles is surrounded each day by other special-needs students, ranging in age from 6 to 21. He has starred at school talent shows, including the time his rendition of "My Girl" by The Temptations elicited "buckets" of tears from his proud mother. At home, Myles works with computers and watches videos, displaying an uncanny knack for rewinding any particular film "right to the part he likes word for word," Rhonda said. Between school and home, the Lathams have cultivated a welcoming, routine environment for their youngest son.
But the same week Jordan left for Xavier, Orlando -- a logistics management specialist based out of Fort Belvoir near Springfield, Va. -- was deployed to Iraq on a six-month tour, leaving Rhonda to take care of Myles and Joseph by herself. The sudden absences of Orlando and Jordan took some getting used to, but thanks to regular Skype sessions with his father and brother, Myles handled the change well.
"Kids with autism have to be on a regular routine. Most of the time if they are not, they kind of get out of whack, to say the least," Rhonda said. "[But] I don't think there was any effect [on Myles] at all. I tried to make it as normal as possible. Even though Orlando wasn't here, he still had one of us. We just went on with our normal routine."
Jordan, however, conceded that it was "rough being away from home" knowing that his mother was taking on so much extra responsibility. The phone calls with Myles were nice, but they were no substitute for face-to-face interaction.
"After you've been with a sibling that has a disability, it's like you don't want to leave them. You want to make sure you're always around," Rhonda said. "Every step of the way with Myles' progress, Jordan has been around there as well, even when they were small. We've always kept him in the loop. With him not being around, he didn't know what was really going on with Myles unless we explained it to him."
Jordan finally decided near the end of his freshman season that he would leave Xavier for a school closer to home. He focused his search on Division I programs in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Back in Baltimore, Jimmy Patsos began formulating a recruiting plan to land Jordan.
By the time Jordan narrowed his list of potential transfer destinations to Delaware, Loyola and Towson, the Greyhounds had received a letter of intent from St. Frances point guard R.J. Williams (a former Amateur Athletic Union teammate of Jordan's) and received major contributions from another former Baltimore high school star in Cardinal Gibbons graduate Dylon Cormier. Patsos sold Jordan on location, playing with other local stars, and joining a program on the precipice of contending for a MAAC title.
With Shane Walker at center and Erik Etherly at power forward, a starting position was out of the question. Jordan could have taken a redshirt year and waited his turn, but instead lobbied for an NCAA waiver to play right away.
"He said, 'Hey Coach, we could win [the MAAC] this year. I could help. I want to play,' " Patsos recalled. "I said, 'Are you sure you want to give up a year? Shane is starting and Erik is starting. They transferred and earned their spots.' [He said], 'I don't care. I'm about the team. I want to win.' It's rare to have a kid walk in and say, 'I'll sacrifice for the team.' "
Said Jordan: "I was fine doing whatever. Jimmy gave me a second opportunity to show my talent. He believed in me. I wasn't trying to be too cocky or overconfident, but I knew that we could win [the MAAC] last year. So I did everything I could last year, whether it was playing 'D' or getting five minutes, 15 minutes, it didn't matter as long as we could win."
With Etherly and Walker getting most of the time at the 4 and 5, Latham played a supporting role with 12.2 minutes per game. His numbers were modest -- 1.8 points per game, 1.9 rebounds -- but his contributions to the Greyhounds' first NCAA tournament team since 1994 were impossible for Patsos to ignore.
"We don't win it last year without him," the coach said. "He was great for us off the bench the last six weeks of the season."
For almost every moment of Loyola's memorable 2011-12 season, Myles was there, happily resuming his role as Jordan's biggest supporter.
"Once he puts on that Loyola shirt, he knows where he's going. He knows he's going to a basketball game," Rhonda said. "He enjoys his brother. They enjoy each other. The love there is just crazy. It's just there. I know that when Jordan wasn't around, as soon as I said Jordan's name to him, you kind of saw a little twinkle in his eye. You could just tell [he was thinking], 'I'm happy to see my brother.' "