*Michael Jordan is the newest member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
The Wilmington native and former University of North Carolina star who went on to become a six-time NBA champion and the Charlotte Bobcats’ owner was inducted Tuesday at halftime of his team’s game against the Toronto Raptors.
Jordan, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, was elected to his home state’s hall in 1993. But he never got around to attending an induction ceremony in Raleigh. So the hall came to him.
Jordan came onto the court after a video tribute with retired North Carolina coach Dean Smith. It was a rare public appearance for Smith after it was announced earlier this year he’s experiencing memory loss.
In brief remarks, Jordan said it’s “truly a pleasure” to join the 274-member hall. Many members, including former North Carolina State star basketball player David Thompson and Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford attended the ceremony.
“Every time I put on that uniform, North Carolina, Chicago, even Washington, I knew I represented my state, the people of North Carolina,” Jordan said to a cheering crowd. “Thank you, Charlotte. Thank you, North Carolina.”
A late bloomer in high school, Jordan quickly made his mark at North Carolina, hitting the game-winning shot in the national championship game as a freshman in 1982. He then went on to a spectacular pro career with the Chicago Bulls. He bought the Bobcats earlier this year.