Clifton ‘Pop’ Herring, Michael Jordan’s coach at Laney, passes away

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Laney High School (Photo: NHCS)

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Clifton “Pop” Herring, the former Laney High School basketball coach who coached Michael Jordan, passed away Wednesday.

Multiple sources confirmed Herring’s death with the StarNews on Friday, though no death notice has yet been posted. He was 66 years old.

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“I’m so saddened to hear of Pop’s passing,” Michael Jordan said Friday in a statement to the StarNews. “I wouldn’t have been the basketball player I was or the man I am without Pop Herring pushing me to be my best. My condolences to his family.”

Herring is the now-famous coach who supposedly cut Jordan during his sophomore year at Laney, but Herring and others told a different story. In a Sports Illustrated article that came out in 2012, Herring said Jordan wasn’t cut, but rather placed on the junior varsity team before starring for the varsity squad in his final two years with the Buccaneers.

Read more here.