Video: Michael Jordan in high school
Before UNC and Chicago, Jordan played at Laney High School.
ESPN is set to begin airing "The Last Dance" on Sunday, a 10-hour documentary featuring Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 season with the Chicago Bulls. While Jordan played high school basketball long before the MaxPreps era, five years ago we dug up footage of him during his prep days and touched on renovations he was helping finance at his old school. Here is that story as it appeared July 9, 2015.
Before he was winning championships at North Carolina and with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan was running up and down the courts at Laney (Wilmington, N.C.)
The game's greatest all-time player enjoyed a two-year varsity career that culminated in a senior campaign in which he averaged a triple-double and earned a spot in the McDonald's All-American Game.
In his post-high school career, Jordan contributed some of the most memorable shots in basketball history (not to mention, the most iconic silhouette in sports history). His hanging jumper over Craig Ehlo to lead the Bulls over the Cavaliers in 1989 Eastern Conference Finals, his step-back jumper in the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals, and his switching-hands layup against the Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals are all plays that most basketball fans can replay clearly in their minds.
Even in college, Jordan hit a corner jumper in the 1982 NCAA title game against Georgetown that remains one of college basketball's more famous shots.
The only people to have seen Jordan in high school, however, were probably those fortunate enough to have sat in the stands to take in a Laney game in 1980.
Until now, that is.
MaxPreps has unearthed rare footage of Jordan from his Laney days, showing that Jordan's ability to soar was apparent even as a teen.
In the video, Jordan takes a pass on a fast break and throws down an impressive one-handed slam.
While Jordan contributed scintillating dunks and numerous victories to Laney back then, he's now contributing in a whole new fashion, helping to renovate the eponymous court, via the Jordan Brand, as part of a celebration of the brand's 30th anniversary.According to WWAY-TV
, the gym received new lighting as well as fresh paint. The gym also temporarily played host to an impressive collection of Jordan's sneakers.
The Michael J. Jordan Gymnasium was looking spiffy for the recent Fred Lynch Invitational tournament, named for Laney's athletic director who was an assistant basketball coach during Jordan's time at Laney.
The gym is now a small shrine to its most famous alum, with old photos and trophy cases honoring Jordan's time at Laney and the prodigious success he enjoyed thereafter.
Check out video of the renovations, as well as extremely rare Michael Jordan high school basketball footage, in the video above, as well as in the photos below.