Over the course of the weekend I was doing some research on the internet into Michael Jordan’s fraternity days, when I stumbled upon a photo of the basketball icon I had never seen before and one I’m guessing you haven’t either. I knew instantly I had unearthed a rare gem.
I clicked the google image link and was taken to this Reddit page. A trawl through the comments didn’t reveal much, so the next step was to put it out into the twitterverse. I tweeted ESPN’s Darren Rovell who I knew would be intrigued by the photo and he in turn tweeted it out. Within minutes there was a flood of responses, especially from people in the region of North Carolina.
What was clear was that the photo of a young ‘Mike’ Jordan effortlessly flushing a two handed jam in the front yard of what appears to be a house was shot in 1983, that put Jordan at the University of North Carolina during that time.
One of the first things that jumped out to most of the people tweeting me, was the location of the photo and the sweater Michael is seen wearing. After a few twitter based conversations, I established the photo was taken at the site of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house located in Chapel Hill.
As for the sweater, my initial thought was that he was repping the university’s athletics department, but what soon became apparent from the tweets I was receiving, was that Michael may have been showing love for another school, the University of North Carolina Asheville.
As it turned out, he was. Buzz Peterson Michael’s college team mate/room mate was a standout player at Asheville High School where he played with friend Randy Shepherd who went on to play at UNCA. A bit more digging revealed that it was indeed Shepherd who gifted Michael the sweater.
Of course such a great find begs more questions such as, who shot the photo? Why was Michel there putting on a dunk display? Who are the frat brothers present? Is Michael wearing jeans and loafers?
I’m still looking into the origin of the photo so if you can provide more insight into this little moment in history, please let me know.
Thanks also to Ross Franco and Bobby Gosnell for their assistance thus far.
I think that it’s actually a YMCA sweatshirt.
Nope, definitely an Asheville sweater.
Appears to be the DKE house in Chapel Hill.
Spot on the money Sam.