What Schools Did Michael Jordan Go To?

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Michael Jordan had the habit of taking his opponents to school during games, but when it came to his actual education, not many people knew it, except probably where he went to college. Jordan was exclusively educated within the state of North Caroline from grade school, junior and senior high school, and college. So, what schools did Michael Jordan go to? The answer is coming right up!

Michael’s Jordan Early Education and High School YearsMichael’s Jordan Early Education and High School Years

People have to begin somewhere, and Michael Jordan’s education was built at Ogden Elementary School in Wilmington, North Carolina. You see, Jordan’s family transferred there when they were young, as they were originally from Brooklyn, New York. This is where he first showed his athletic promise, competitive spirit, and determination to succeed.

As he progressed in his education, Jordan enrolled at Emsley A. Laney High School. It was here that he truly made a name for himself as a basketball player. Despite initially being cut from the varsity team as a sophomore, Jordan’s perseverance and dedication led to significant imrpovement in his skills. 

A crazy growth spurt also helped take his game to another level. Jordan was 5-foot-8 as a freshman, grew three inches as a sophomore, and up to 6-foot-3 as a junior. By the end of his senior year, he was already 6-foot-6 and ready to take the basketball world by storm. Jordan’s natural talent, his work ethic, and his newfound physical stature propelled him to become a standout player at Laney High School, attracting the attention of college basketball programs nationwide.

College Years at UNC Chapel HillCollege Years at UNC Chapel Hill

Several prestigious colleges heavily recruited Michael Jordan due to his exceptional talent and performance in high school. In fact, when Duke hired Mike Krzyzewski in 1980, the rookie coach sent Michael Jordan recruiting letters. Coach K even wrote one that wished MJ good luck after learning that Jordan chose the University of North Carolina over Duke.

Here’s another interesting story: Jordan almost never went to Chapel Hill because he thought he’d go to the University of South Carolina. The main reason was that the Jordan family knew the Gamecocks’ head coach– fellow New Yorker Frank McGuire. The Jordans actually tuned into the Gamecocks (as well as the North Carolina State Wolfpack) more carefully than North Carolina when they first relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina. No one knows what type of butterfly effect it could have done, but it’s a fun tidbit to share.

The other teams that had MJ on their radar were UCLA and Virginia. Michael revealed that he wanted to play with Ralph Sampson, but no one from the Cavaliers scouted him, so he looked in another direction. He liked the atmosphere at UNC, which helped him commit to the school early. 

Jordan did not finish school when he decided to join the 1984 draft as a junior. However, he returned and finished what he started, earning himself a bachelor’s degree in geography from the university in 1986. Do you know what was the supposed Michael Jordan GPA in college? Sources say it was 4.5, equivalent to a brilliant 99% on the weighted scale. That’s bloody brilliant! MJ needed to confirm that, but knowing him, he may claim he got a 5.0.

Was Jordan an Excellent StudentWas Jordan an Excellent Student?

Jordan wasn’t necessarily an academic achiever growing up, but he apparently turned a corner in college with the 4.5 GPA mentioned above. Even with that, he needed to have good grades to be on the varsity team. The GPA requirement is currently at 2.3 on a 4.0 scale if you want to be recruited by a Division I school and 2.0 for Division II schools.

Jordan’s good grades were certainly a reflection of his personality and work ethic. His dedication extended beyond athletics, as he demonstrated a commitment to improving his skills in all areas of his life., likely applying that laser-like focus to his studies as well.

However, it’s important to note that Jordan’s rise to basketball stardom and subsequent professional career overshadowed his academic achievements. The public spotlight primarily focused on his athletic prowess, making it difficult to gather comprehensive information about his academic performance during his formative years. But then again, knowing MJ and his level of commitment, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for him to do well in class.

Jordan’s Interest in SportsJordan’s Interest in Sports

Michael Jordan is a natural athlete with a near-psychopathic will to win at all costs. This made him interested in other sports, particularly baseball and golf. It was also well-documented that he became pretty good at ping pong (or table tennis) after Howard White, a long-time Nike executive, beat him in a game.

But nothing was more well-documented than his brief foray into pro baseball after retiring in 1993. He played in the minor leagues as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox affiliate.

Jordan has a strong passion for golf and has played the game frequently throughout his childhood. Even after his second retirement from basketball, he participated in celebrity golf events and made investments in golf facilities. That said, golf is nothing more than a hobby and a way to have fun with his friends, with bets on the side.

And lastly, Jordan also played football during his youth and even considered transitioning to the sport instead of baseball in his first retirement. This just proves Jordan is a natural athlete and could probably make it big no matter how sport he chooses to immerse himself in.

Transition to Professional BasketballTransition to Professional Basketball

From the get-go, Michael Jordan put the league on notice that he was coming for everybody. MJ wasted no time establishing himself as the best player on the Bulls in his rookie year, as he averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game in his first season, leading the team to the playoffs. He also won Rookie of the Year and made All-NBA second team! That’s what you’d call a seamless transition.

After the success of his rookie campaign, Jordan continued his ascent to superstardom, not just in his personal accolades but also in his off-court endeavors. His Air Jordan shoes sold like hotcakes, and he became a phenomenon. His teams fell short several times in the mid to late 80s, but Chicago turned a new leaf upon hiring Phil Jackson as their head coach and Scottie Pippen coming into his own.

By 1991, Jordan was already the best player in the NBA and had a championship ring to prove it. The Bulls went on to win five of the next seven NBA championships, with Jordan winning Finals MVP each and every time.

Wrapping Things Up: What Schools Did Michael Jordan Go To?

Fans may think of Michael Jordan as “just” an athlete who used his natural gifts to become successful. Nothing can be further from the truth! Jordan built himself up through education and only made the basketball plunge when he was evidently head-and-shoulders above everybody else in skill and know-how. 

What kind of education did Michael Jordan have? Jordan earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography in 1986, two years after getting drafted third overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 Draft. Apart from traveling around the world, he didn’t have to practice his expertise, but MJ did value his education and even reportedly had a 4.5 GPA.

That leads to another question, what schools did Michael Jordan go to? His Airness went to Ogden Elementary School and Laney High School in his formative years. He strongly considered going to Virginia and South Carolina for college but ultimately chose the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. It was at UNC where he got his bachelor’s degree.

If you’re interested in learning Michael Jordan‘s story, check out this basketball biography book.

We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, be sure to check out our other basketball FAQ articles here.

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Hoops Addict was created to help basketball fans of all ages learn more about the sport and find the best basketball gear to improve their ability to hoop. He has been a huge basketball fan for decades, watching thousands of basketball games through the years to learn the ins and outs of the game.

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