Michael slipped on his shoes and began to tie them.
He looked at the others who were stretching and warming up. All of them had seen him play, but that was a year ago.
A lot of things change.
This was a whole different tryout and a whole different season.
Last year, he was a sophomore, and while others had told him that he shouldn’t be upset that he didn’t make the varsity team, he knew better.
He was better.
Excellence had become a standard for him thanks to his parents.
They desired to set an example for their children, showing them an eagerness to work , and encouraged them to make things happen rather than wait around for them to happen.
Delores Jordan insisted that her children know what a good work ethic was and made sure that they had chores and study time set aside.
His father, James, was an equipment manager for the Air Force, and he made sure that his kids learned how to work hard through sports.
Michael was more of a recreational athlete, sometimes lazy, usually discouraged because he could not compete with his older brother Larry, who was very athletic, but not tall.
Michael was also not very tall during his early years and did not have much hope of being that tall since none in the Jordan family history could ever reached over six feet.
Baseball was a big part of Michael’s life starting around twelve years old as he became a stand out pitcher.
Michael’s love for basketball only started when his father built them a basketball court, and Larry would continuously beat him on one-on-one.
At this point, Michael was highly competitive, and he worked hard to excel in basketball.
Then came an opportunity to join Varsity as a Sophomore.
Sure that he could compete even at his height, Michael tried out for that spot. He lost out to another classmate, Leroy Smith.
He was upset, and that fueled him to practice continuously every day; even cutting classes to work on his skills.
The next summer, he attended an elite basketball camp and shot up to 6’3.
That determination brought him to today.
Tryouts for Varsity.
He would not see that defeat again.
Over his next two varsity years, he began averaging 25 points per game and was the first player in high school history to average a triple-double. He eventually led them to the State Championship.
His play drew national attention and led him to be named a McDonald’s All-American in his senior season.
At that year’s McDonald’s All-American High School Basketball Game, Michael led the East team to a 96-95 victory, scoring a record-high 30 points.
In baseball,while playing for the Laney High School varsity Baseball team, Jordan pitched 45 consecutive scoreless innings.
For years to come, no one would ever question him as a player.
Of course, this was just the beginning of the story of how hard work, determination, and fearless perseverance made Michael Jordan the athlete so many look up to and admire.
In his own words:
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games.
26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Be true to the game and the game will be true to you.
Shortcut the game and the game will shortcut you.