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, with two older brothers and an older and younger sister. Michael’s dad worked hard at an electric plant while his mom laboured full-time at a bank. His parents worked hard to provide the 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, he fought through adversity.

Between the 10th and 11th grade, Jordan grew from 5’11” to 6’3”, improved greatly as a player, and 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 year.

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 Bulls.

Jordan immediately 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 rumours 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 realised that he was not cut-out for baseball after a disappointing season.

In 1995, Jordan made a surprise return to basketball right before the playoffs but 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 NBA, this time, as a Wizard. But in 2002 he suffered a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. His marital life was stormy when Juanita announced her desire to file for divorce (they are still married).