This Day in Black History: Former NBA, MLB Player Michael Jordan was born
HOUSTON – Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on Feb. 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York.
Jordan’s love for sports was always transparent. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina and was involved in basketball, baseball and football.
During his sophomore year, Jordan tried out for his school’s varsity basketball team. Unfortunately, Jordan did not make the cut, due to his height – 5 feet and 11 inches tall. Because of his hard work and determination, Jordan joined the junior varsity basketball team and scored more than 40 points a game. In his senior year, Jordan was selected to join the McDonald’s All-American Team.
In 1981, Jordan accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina. As a freshman, Jordan was named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore and junior, Jordan was selected to join the NCAA All-American Team.
In 1984, Jordan made his start in the NBA and joined the Chicago Bulls. As a rookie, Jordan already won over fans and was voted as an All-Star starter. In 1987, Jordan won a Most Valuable Player award and was named Defensive Player of the Year. In 1990, Jordan won his second MVP award and averaged about 31 points per game.
In 1993, Jordan announced his retirement in basketball. Three months prior to making his announcement, Jordan’s father was tragically killed by two teenagers in North Carolina.
In 1994, Jordan signed a minor league baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. In the same year, Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons —a minor league baseball team and Double- A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
In 1995, Jordan announced his comeback season with the Chicago Bulls and scored more than 30 points a game. In 1999, Jordan yet again announced his retirement and became part owner and President of Basketball Operations to the Washington Wizards.
In 2001, Jordan announced his return to the NBA courts with the Washington Wizards. Jordan played his final season in 2003.
Even off the court, Jordan slam dunked entrepreneurial business opportunities. In 1985, Jordan debuted his footwear product, Air Jordan, to people that wanted to be “Like Mike”. In 1997, Jordan opened Michael Jordan Steakhouse in New York. In 1993, Jordan debuted Michael Jordan in Flight — a computer basketball game — and Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City – a video game – in 1994.
Jordan’s courage to not give up on his love for basketball and being fearless to seek other opportunities made him known as the greatest of all time.