Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February
17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, but his family decided to
move to Wilmington, North Carolina when he was still a toddler.
Jordan is the fourth of five children, having two older brothers
and an older and younger sister. Michael's dad worked hard
at an electric plant while his mom labored full-time at a
bank. Jordan's parents worked hard to provide him and his
siblings with a comfortable lifestyle.
As a child, Jordan
played baseball, basketball and football. His preferred sport
at the time was baseball but after he began spending a lot
of time on the basketball court, his outlook changed. Because
his older and taller brother, Larry, continuously kept beating
him when they played one-on-one, he was determined to become
a better player.
Ironically, in 1978,
when Jordan attended Laney High School in Wilmington, North
Carolina, he was cut from the varsity team. Instead of giving
up, however, he fought through adversity and became the greatest
basketball player in the world.
Between the 10th and
11th grade, Jordan grew from 5'11" to 6'3", and
because he had improved greatly as a player, he made the varsity
team the following year. Jordan played so well in his junior
season that he was invited to attend the Five-Star Camp in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during the summer before his senior
By the time Jordan
was finishing his senior year at Laney, he had grown to 6'5" and attained a basketball scholarship from the University
of North Carolina. Jordan's ever-growing popularity began
at UNC where he made a last minute game-winning shot in the
NCAA championship game.
In the summer of 1984,
Jordan played on the US Men's Olympic Basketball Team under
head coach Bobby Knight. The team had such college players
as Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin (NBA players weren't
allowed to compete in the Games until 1992). Jordan's plays
quickly awed the other teams.
He scored 14 points
against China, 20 against Canada and 16 against Uruguay. The
US won all eight of the games by an average of 32.1 points
per game. Jordan led the team in scoring with an average of
17.1 points per game. Two months after the Olympics, Jordan
played his first regular-season game with the Chicago Bulls.
proved that he belonged in the big leagues and his acrobatic
moves and hang-time won him the infamous nickname Air Jordan.
His basketball skills and allure made him the perfect key
figure to market both Nike products and the NBA.
Jordan led the Bulls
to three consecutive World Championships (1991, 1992 and 1993).
Jordan retired from the NBA preceding the 1993/94 season after
the mysterious death of his father and after rumors about
his gambling addictions began to circulate.
After proving that
he was the best basketball player in the world, Jordan sought
a new challenge and decided to try his hand at professional
baseball. He played outfielder for the Birmingham Barons,
affiliates of the Chicago White Sox. Jordan quickly realized
that he was not cutout for baseball after a disappointing
In 1995, Jordan made
a surprise return to basketball right before the playoffs
but unfortunately, the Bulls didn't win the Championship.
In 1996, Jordan led the Bulls to their best regular season
record and the fourth Championship title in six years. He
also took a shot at the silver screen, where he starred alongside
Bugs Bunny in the animated comedy Space Jam.
Jordan decided to retire
after winning his last Championship in 1999, mainly due to
his decision to dedicate his life to his wife Juanita, and
their three children, Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine.
After partly returning
to the game as president of basketball operations with the
Washington Wizards (he owned a stake in the team), Jordan
announced his return to the NBA, this time, as a Wizard. Jordan
might be back, but in 2002 he suffered a knee injury that
kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the season, and
experienced stormy wedded bliss when wife Juanita announced
her desire to file for divorce (the couple are now still happily