Mike was about 5-10 at the end of 10th grade, no more than 5-11," recalled Fred Lynch, Laney's current varsity coach and the sophomore coach during MJ's Buccaneer days.
"He always had talent -- and our best 10th grader. He played with a lot of heart, he had guard skills and he always had big, strong hands. By his junior year he shot up to 6-3, almost 6-4. All of a sudden you had size to go with that talent and drive. ... He just blossomed."
Todd Parker, a Laney teammate who played various sports with Jordan "since T-ball," saw it coming, even if he wasn't quite sure what it was.
Todd Parker was my next door neighbor on Kings Grant Road in Wilmington.. About a mile from Gordon road.(Mike's 2 story house)
Fred Lynch is a trim, serious man under his shaven head, and that bit of history prompts a scowl. Urban legend, he insists.
Clifton "Pop" Herring, his predecessor who has long since stepped away from coaching, had a "no sophomores" policy for the Laney varsity.
Because Leroy Smith was 6-7 and the Buccaneers were height-challenged, he was an exception. MJ was not.
"Mike wasn't quite ready for the varsity as a 10th grader," Lynch said, "and we all agreed he'd be better off getting playing time on the sophomore team than sitting on the bench with the varsity.
"I believe it worked out OK."
Fred Lynch is Laneys current Coach .....Pop Herring was Mike's Varisty coach.
This is out of the Chicago Tribune..
Not many people know the real story. I was lucky enough to have lived it.We played Baseball at Cape Fear Optimist and basketball at Chestnut school.Now it's Snipes school on Chestnut street.
Does it really matter I have my sheep skin on the wall. Not Bartending 101. After writing 1000's Federal Nuclear reports and personnel evaluations. I dont really care what I type...LOL .As a product of these two counties.
And Fred Lynch did not cut Mike.Pop Herring was the Varsity coach and Pop Herring cut Mike and took Leroy Smith due to his height. Mike still played JV at 5'10" and Leroy Smith was 6'7" and made the Varsity team as a sophomore..Laney was a 10th thru 12th grade high school. So the 10th graders played JV. DC Virgo was a 9th grade school, where both Mike and Leroy went.
And I have already made plenty with my degree to retire... You should have done something with your life early on.
Mike went to Peabody 5th and 6th grade, MCS Noble 7th grade, Trask jr high 8th grade, DC Virgo 9th grade and then to Laney.I was lucky enough to have been in a lot of his classes since we were about 10 years old. He and his brother Larry(one year older) were friends of mine.
Mike and his family left Wilmington on a sour note due to his dad ,James getting released from GE.
As some have said he has not given much back to Wilmington. He did open his Flight 23 store here a few years ago but it failed..along with his line of stores.
Mike has always brought his NBA teams to UNCW for preseason practice. Washington Team and now his Bobcats were here this year..
UNCW's current coach Buzz Peterson was Mike's roommate at Granville Towers their freshman year at UNC.
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