Michael Jordan



Michael Jordan was born on January 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in

Wilmington, North Carolina. He has two brothers, is married, and has three kids. He is considered by

many to be the greatest basketball player of all time (Kornbluth). My focus will be on his hardships,

accomplishments, and people who influenced him.

First, I would like to touch on some general information about Michael. He wears number 23 on

his jersey because he considered it to be half of his brother's number, 45. He had wanted 45 because it was

his brother's number and he deeply admired his brother, but he was on the same team as his brother so he

needed to pick a different number. His most well known superstition is that he wears his University of

North Carolina basketball shorts under his game shorts.

When Michael was a kid, his favorite sport was not basketball. In fact, it was baseball. He was a

pitcher on a little league team. He played baseball because he was short (Kornbluth). Later in his life, he

would try to leave the NBA and play major league baseball.

Michael was not always rich. His parents had to work two and three jobs each to support the family.

Before Michael's dad built him a basketball court in his back yard Michael shot, basketballs into a trash can

(Kornbluth).

Michael was not always good at basketball, either. People told Michael that he was too short to

play basketball. Michael now stands six feet six inches tall. He also went to the school gym before school

to shoot baskets, stayed after school to shoot baskets, and could be found in the school gym on weekends

shooting baskets. He also played his brother, Larry, one-on-one in basketball. His brother was only a year

older than Michael was, but he was much better and taller than Michael was. Michael would often times

lose and end up getting in a fight with his brother. This caused Michael to be extremely determined to

succeed at basketball (Kornbluth).

In his sophomore year of high school, he tried out for the Varsity team. He did not make it, so he was

placed on the Junior Varsity team. On the J.V. team, he averaged 28 points per game. He thought this

would get the attention of the Varsity team coach. It did. However, it was not in the way he hoped it

would. The assistant coach for the Varsity team was sick so they needed someone to hand out towels to the

players while on a playoff road trip. That is what Michael got to do (Kornbluth).

When he finally got on the Varsity team in his junior year, he still worked hard. He practiced with both the

Varsity and the Junior Varsity teams and continued to go to the school gym and work on his shooting

(Kornbluth).

Michael's hard work would attract many scouts from colleges (Kornbluth). He would go to the University

of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In college, he was a very good player. In his junior year, the Tar Heels

went to the NCAA Championship game where he would hit a clutch game winning buzzer beater to win the

NCAA Championship.

In 1984, Michael played for the United States Olympic basketball team. Michael was among the best

college players in the country and helped the team win the gold medal. Michael was also part of the 1992

United States Olympic basketball team. The team was composed of the best NBA players and was

nicknamed "The Dream Team." This Olympic team also won the gold medal

(www.unc.edu/~lbrooks2/jordan.html).

Michael was drafted after his junior year in college and would be the third pick in the first round of the

1984 NBA Draft. He went to the Chicago Bulls, who at that time were a struggling team. With Michael on

their team, they started to win. Michael was the NBA's rookie of the year in 1985. He would also be a

NBA all-star in his rookie year and a NBA all-star game starter in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,

1993, and 1996. In 1988 Michael would win the first of four league MVP honors, the others being 1991,

1992, and 1996. He was named the MVP of the 1988 and 1996 NBA all-star games. In 1991, the Bulls

won their first NBA Championship led by Michael Jordan. Michael was the MVP of