Flight 23 by Jordan was Coming Right Through Our Town:”The Big Dance”/”Big Day”(That was busy a time!!!!!)

Posted by Andy Durham on April 29, 2020 at 1:28 pm under Amateur, College, High School, Professional | Comments are off for this article

With the current ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” featuring Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, it brings back memories of a time when Michael Jordan had his sporting goods store here in Greensboro…

The time frame was in the early 1990’s and the Jordan store was located at the old Carolina Circle Mall…The store went by the name, “Flight 23 by Jordan”, and was owned and operated locally here by Greensboro businessmen and sports enthusiasts, Ron Davidson and Morrell Pridgen

This was quite the venture and all of the Jordan “Last Dance” talk got me thinking back to his “Flight 23 by Jordan” store, this morning…

I was sort of involved with promoting the store, since I was doing radio in those days, and our station covered local sports like a blanket at that time, and with the new “Flight by 23 Jordan” store coming to town, we were right on top of these developments…

It was right around this time back there in the early 90’s, and to be exact the month was May and it was time for the Grand Opening of the “Flight 23 by Jordan” sporting goods store….

We are at the weekend during that month in May, and I was working at the WKEW AM1400 radio station and as we hit that weekend, I knew this was going to be a busy time…

The “Flight 23 by Jordan” store was ready for their Grand Opening and we had the Wrangler-McDonald’s Soccer Tournament in town, that very same weekend…

To say things were about to get busy, that would be an understatement….

Here we go…It was Saturday morning at the WKEW radio station and I worked the morning shift on weekends…My on air run was from 6-10am…

So, I get to the radio station and do the News-Talk-Sports shift from 6-10am…Then I leave the station to go over to UNCG, so I can begin doing remote reports on the Wrangler-McDonald’s Soccer Tournament…That part of the job called for me calling in all of the scores from the tournament, and getting interviews with the soccer players and coaches…This was a youth Soccer Tournament, and it was a BIG one back in that day…

Got the 6-10am radio shift in the books and now at UNCG doing the Wrangler-McDonald’s Soccer Reports…Must manage the time wisely, because at around 2pm, it will be time to head out to the Carolina Circle Mall, for the “Flight 23 by Jordan” Grand Opening…

Soccer Reports go smooth and then it was coming up on 2pm, and time to hit the gas and get to the Carolina Circle Mall, so I could call in remote radio reports from the “Flight 23 by Jordan” sporting goods store….Arrived at “Flight 23 by Jordan” at 2:30pm, and on WKEW radio with call-in reports from the new store, in a matter of minutes…

At the “Flight 23 by Jordan” store it was me and Michael’s dad, James Jordan, sitting/standing around and taking it all in…James Jordan was a great man, and he was about as nice a soul, as you would ever want to meet…He made sure to tell me to head on down to the Tuesday’s Restaurant and get some FREE food, before I was done with all of my work there….Scotty Williams was not quite as pleasant as Mr. Jordan, but Scotty got his game face on, once the cameras started rolling…

There were a lot of celebrities at the “Flight 23 by Jordan” store on that day and the store’s opening made quite the impact on our city/Greensboro…Me and Mr. Jordan/James Jordan struck up a very strong friendship/bond on that day, and he was able to tell/relate to me the importance of establishing the “Michael Jordan Brand”

I stayed with the remote radio call-ins until around 5pm and then it was time to get back over to UNCG and resume the Wrangler-McDonald’s Soccer Tournament reports….We were keeping the cell phone busy that day, with all of those calls coming into WKEW radio and as the sun began to set in the West, it was approaching 7pm and it was just about time to make the next transition/stop…

From the main soccer field at UNCG, just inside the UNCG Soccer Stadium, the next BIG move of the day was about to happen…

Next we had to roll over to Page High School, where they were having the Michael Jordan Celebrity Challenge Basketball Game…The game was set to start at 7:30pm and all of the basketball stars that had been out at the “Flight 23 by Jordan” store Grand Opening, were there to play in this game…

My job was to MC this game and do the public address announcing and that is what I did, and with all of the basketball stars on the court that night, the one name that stands out in my mind was Jordan…But, it was not Michael Jordan….It was his brother Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan might have been 5’10, but that cat could get up and down the court and Larry Jordan could fly….You thought Michael could fly, right?????

Well, if you would have seen Larry getting up there and around that rim, you would have swore that he could out-jump Michael….Larry Jordan had the hops and he could go get up there, above the rim…

Larry Jordan really blew my mind, he could jump Soooooo high….That might have been the highlight of the weekend….

“Highlight of that Weekend”??? Had to be meeting Jordan and watching Jordan jump…But, it again, it was not Michael…I’m not sure if he was even there, and I have the feeling that at that time, Michael was away and busy with the Bulls and Chicago, in the NBA playoffs…

But, the highlight was meeting Jordan, James Jordan, Michael’s dad and seeing Jordan jump and that would watching Larry Jordan jump…

They are opening up the Michael Jordan sporting goods store and he’s is not there, but James Jordan and Larry Jordan are there and they(James and Larry), are stealing the show…I don’t how many times I yelled out, “Jordan on the Dunk”, as Larry went up and slammed it home in that Celebrity Basketball Game…Larry Jordan was in a zone, and it was zone that existed wayyyyy above the rim…

As the Michael Jordan Celebrity Basketball Challenge Game was wrapping up, my day there in May, was still underway….

Out the door at Page High School, and then time to hightail it over to Grimsley High School for the Wrangler-McDonald’s All-Stars Soccer Game…This All-Star Soccer Game at Jamieson Stadium, was all part of the Wrangler-McDonald’s Classic Soccer Tournament and I needed to get the score on this game and get the score called into WKEW radio…

As I got the soccer game score lifted up and reported, I was also able to grab an interview or two, and get those in on my FINAL remote radio report of the day……

It was about time to turn out the lights and if this had been a true sports report party, that party was just about over for this day in May….

That was it…..The day had begun at the radio station at around 5am, as the radio show prep was going on, and now that day in May, was ending at around 10:30pm….Got in a ton of radio reports on that day in May, and I think we were able to get the job done, and at the same time, we covered all of the bases…

It has been said in times past, that you can’t be in two places at the same time, but on that Saturday in May, I would have to say, WE DID COME PRETTY CLOSE…..
(It will keep you busy, when you are trying to keep up with “Flight 23 by Jordan”.)

**********To sum it all up, That was a Busy Time.**********


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