It's not every day that the one and only Michael Jordan shows up at a tiny high school gym to take in a game. Yet His Airness was most certainly in attendance at the recent Charlotte Hoops Challenge, where he watched a senior put on a show during Davidson (N.C.) Day School's 79-46 loss to traditional state power Cuthbertson (N.C.) High. Surprisingly, the player who stood out was a star for the lesser team.
Fittingly, his last name was Jordan, too.
With his legendary uncle looking on, Davidson Day senior Justin Jordan stood out, dropping a Cuthbertson defender with a killer crossover and bearing an eerie similarity to his famous uncle when pulling up with an elbow jumper. The younger Jordan's footwear was even familiar, with the senior competing in vintage Air Jordans.
The comparisons don't stop there, either. It's not hard to see the resemblance between Justin Jordan -- who stands 6-foot-2 and is averaging 12 points per game early in his senior campaign -- and the greatest player in the history of the game. The high school Jordan competes as a guard and is comfortable handling the ball or driving the lane.
For his part, the younger Jordan -- who has a scholarship offer to Navy and has received interest from the likes of Brown and VMI -- insists that his famous uncle and father --Larry Jordan, MJ's brother, played for the Chicago Express of the World Basketball League in the 1980s -- haven't helped him find success. Rather, that has come with his hard work.
"I've got to work hard for everything on the court," the younger Jordan told USA Today. "I'm not one of those guys that things come easy for.
"Me being Michael Jordan's nephew just adds to the pressure. I don't think it's fair, but I've accepted it. It's just something that I try not to think about."
There are benefits to being the nephew of the greatest basketball player in history, of course. Justin Jordan said that he's beaten His Airness in one-on-one games a handful of times, an honor that many basketball fans would likely pay an astounding fee just to attempt.
Still, those backyard success stories won't help Justin Jordan escape his uncle's fierce competitive streak, according to his interview with USA Today.
"He's not gonna like [the Cuthbert loss]," Justin said. "You probably know that he doesn't like to lose, right? He'll point out everything I did wrong. He's my biggest critic. Him and my dad. They ride me, but they tell me what I did well too. It's all to make me better, and I'm with that. If I can go out and play my best every game and leave it all on the court, I'm happy. That's all I want. It may not always be what people want to see, but they've got to respect it."
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- Michael Jordan