The subject of countless documentaries and retrospective looks at legends of the sport, Michael Jordan is the frontrunner in any argument disputing who the greatest basketball player of all time was. As with most team sports, players will make a name for themselves in high school with the goal of securing a spot on a college team, where did Michael Jordan begin his career?
Michael Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School, located in Wilmington, North Carolina. This was the school where he first found his gift for basketball, accruing a multitude of offers from colleges across Carolina.
Before he was dunking in the big leagues, Jordan was shooting hoops at his local Wilmington high school, already breaking records and making a name for himself. You can only imagine what life must have been like for the future Hall of Famer, or what it must be like to have attended school with him and claim to have seen the legend in action so early in his career.
A Sophomore Talent
Even the greatest of talents face some kind of obstacle eventually that tests their willpower and desire to succeed, and for Jordan, it was his attempt to make the varsity basketball team as a sophomore. When he first made a run at getting a spot on the coveted 15-player roster, Jordan came up short, both figuratively and literally.
He just wasn’t tall enough to make the team and was left feeling like he had failed due to a cause that was far beyond his control. In an act that defines greatness, however, Jordan took the hurt and he ran with it, using it as fuel for the fires of motivation.
What followed on from that was Jordan taking the junior varsity world by force, and if the varsity team didn’t immediately regret not putting Jordan on their roster, they certainly soon would.
His outstanding performances on the junior varsity team put him head and shoulders above the competition, in skill if not in height. The fans that Jordan began to attract were unprecedented for a junior varsity game, who were no doubt drawn to the rumors of the young tyrant on the courts that was crushing games by over 40 points.
These performances essentially laid the foundation for his future entry to the varsity team, all he needed was a little growth spurt to help him along the way.
Eventually, even nature couldn’t resist the call to greatness, and over the next couple of years, Jordan finally began to grow into a frame befitting of his giant talent. It was a combination of physical attributes and skills afforded to the rare few, the perfect recipe for success.
Naturally, upon becoming a junior, Jordan was the first pick for the varsity team. He had managed to achieve his original goal of making varsity, but those fires of motivation that had been fueled by a taste of perceived failure still burned brighter than ever.
Instead of his performances dropping off, or evening out to match the higher level of competition he would face off against during matches against other varsity teams, his game continued to rise above the rest. In his very first match, he made that very sentiment as clear as he could to both his teammates and his future rivals on the court, scoring 35 points in his first game.
What Kind of School Is Emsley?
Perhaps the most appropriate facet of the offerings available at Emsley A. Laney High School to focus on are the athletics, the sports that Jordan made his bread and butter throughout his time at the school. Just like many other high schools, there are a plethora of opportunities open to any with the talent and hard work to take them, with their team the “Buccaneers” catering to everything from football, to volleyball, to Jordan’s forte of Basketball.
Looking through the school’s alumni, Jordan’s name is definitely the one that stands out amongst the others on the basis of how much he achieved in his career, and even though other names on the list achieved varying levels of success, Jordan is the defining name.
Nevertheless, based on the opinions of the alumni and parents of children who attend the school, both the staff and the facilities are top-notch.