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Home > People > Junior Varsity Michael Jordan?

Junior Varsity Michael Jordan?

This article tells about Michael Jordan's failure to make his high school's varsity basketball team.

Laney High School Jersey

Just about everybody knows that Michael Jordan is one of the greatest basketball players in history. But he wasn't always a star. In fact, he failed to make his high's school varsity team when he was a sophomore, and instead, was relegated to the junior varsity squad. Imagine, Michael Jordan not being good enough for his high school team?

What happened?

As a five foot ten-inch-tall Sophomore at Laney High School in North Carolina, Michael was an extremely competitive, but skinny kid known more for his baseball skills than basketball skills. According to other players who tried out for the team, Michael was a good player, but nothing special, and thus, it came as no surprise to them that he did not make the team. Sophomores rarely, if ever, made varsity, but Michael was devastated nonetheless, and even more so because one of his friends, the six foot seven-inch-tall LeRoy Smith, who was also a sophomore, would be playing varsity.

Turning "Failure" Into Motivation

Jordan, however, would turn the rejection into motivation and worked harder than he'd ever worked before to prepare for tryouts the following season. "Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I'd ought to stop, I'd close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it," Jordan would explain. "That usually got me going again". Twice during his Sophomore season, he scored more than 40 points for the junior varsity team.

The Legend of Michael Jordan is Born

In the summer, Michael grew four inches and easily made the Laney High School basketball team. He quickly became their best player and led the team in scoring, averaging over 20 points per game. During his senior season, he was named a McDonald's All-American, and the legend of Michael Jordan was born.


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