As the entire galaxy knows (even the martians know this, since Space Jame came out), Michael Jordan turned 50 this weekend. I wanted to pay homage to Michael Jordan by discussing how much he influenced my life.
My first and only encounter with Michael Jordan was in my hometown, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) use to hold an all-star game at the end of the season that included only seniors. The game would also include graduating seniors from other local colleges and universities that were non-ACC schools. Well, MJ never played in this game since he went pro after his junior year at North Carolina. The first ACC All-Star Classic that I recall attending was in May 1984. The game was held at the Crown Coliseum, located off I-95. I attended the game with my sister, who is a Duke fan unfortunately. Back then, she wasn’t. She was neutral until Duke started winning a lot of games and going to Final Fours. Anywho, she spotted Michael Jordan. Before Michael Jordan was MJ and before he had his own shoe, he was a star in the state of North Carolina. My father and brother were Carolina fans; hence, I became one. As soon as I spotted Jordan, 20 other kids did, also. As Jordan was walking towards us, he was talking to an older man. All 20 of us reached out to shake his hand. MJ only shook my hand, then he walked off with the guy he conversed with. I was hooked after that. Michael Jordan fan FOREVER!
This experience influenced several areas of my life, which included reward systems, status, my favorite team, where I attended college and how I raised my family. In the following year, I was in third grade at Lucile Souders Elementary School in my hometown. I made straight A’s all year long, in addition to winning first place in the Science Fair. Yes, I’m was a geek and still am, but don’t hate the playa when you see him in the street. Well, my mother asked me what I wanted and I said, “I want a pair of Air Jordan’s.” Keep in mind that his shoes had just came out. This particular shoe is known as the “Retro 1’s” now. To make a long story short, my mom bought me a pair of Air Jordan’s at Athletic World at Westwood Shopping Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This store does not exist there anymore. The shoes were $65. This was quite expensive in 1985 for a pair of basketball shoes, but my mom did it anyway. The day was June 2nd, 1985. On the following day, we had Awards Day at school. I wore my Jordan’s and everybody was looking at my shoes. This experience ranks up there with the birth of my children (seriously). As I walked up to the stage to get my numerous awards and my Science Fair, I thought to myself, “This is the best day ever.” Well, it still ranks pretty high on my list. Thanks to MJ…
I was pretty much a full-fledged Tar Heel fan back then. As years went on, all of my friends knew that I loved the UNC Tar Heels. I had several other Air Jordan’s throughout my lifetime in 8th grade (Retro 4’s) and 10th grade (Retro 6’s). Having a pair of Jordan’s meant that your family had money. We were not rich by any means. Both of my parents were teachers, but they made it look easy which I’m eternally grateful. When I became a senior in high school, I applied to two universities, North Carolina A&T State University and the University of North Carolina (UNC). I was accepted to both schools, but it was a no-brainer to attend UNC. When I decided to attend UNC, the first thing that came to mind was, “I get to attend Carolina basketball games.” Of course, MJ had something to do with this as well. As Charlie Sheen would say, “Winning!”
While attending UNC, I fell in love and married someone. Although we are no longer married, I raise our daughters as Tar Heels. That is a way of life in my family. I have a four year old as well, also. Several people have tried to poison her mind, attempting to get her to go for Duke, but the seed that I planted in her sprouted very well. With my two oldest daughters, they wanted something for school really bad. Last summer, both of them came to me and said, “We would like to have Jordans.” Well, to say the least, each of my older daughters received Jordans. My oldest daughter got Jordan Flight’s, which she has wanted for a few years. My middle daughter got “Son of Mars” Jordans. My youngest daughter has not received any yet. However, when she gets a pair, it will be a milestone similar to my other two. Again, thanks MJ. You can view their Jordans in my pictures on my twitter page here: https://twitter.com/HorranCameron
When I look back over my life, it’s crazy how Michael Jordan has a great deal of influence. My favorite sneakers are Jordan’s. I actually own two pairs (white Retro 4’s and Carolina Blue Retro 2’s); for now. When I want sneakers, I only buy Nike’s. I do not purchase Adidas or Reebok. However, I will purchase other name brands for casual shoes, dress shoes and running shoes. In addition, my niece named her son, Jordan, because her father is a huge Carolina fan. She loves Jordans and of course, her son wears them.
In conclusion, if you are reading this Michael Jordan, Happy 50th Birthday. Thank you for influencing my life. I hope that the rumor is true about you playing in the 2013 All-Star game.