Michael Jordan went on to have a successful NBA career, becoming one of the best players in the history of the NBA. Before he came into the league, he starred at the University of North Carolina.
Though Jordan was one of the top players on his basketball team in college, he may have pursued a college football career.
Michael Jordan’s basketball career at North Carolina
Jordan stepped onto the campus at Chapel Hill and immediately made an impact on the basketball team during his freshman year. He was the new kid on the block at school, but that did not stop him from being one of the top players on the team. He played alongside future NBA stars James Worthy and Sam Perkins.
Jordan averaged 13.5 points per game, which was third on the team. He would go on to be named the ACC Rookie of the Year. Jordan helped North Carolina make a deep run in the 1982 NCAA Tournament. North Carolina went on to play Georgetown in the National Championship, and Jordan hit one of the most memorable shots of his career. He would go on to hit the game-winning shot to give North Carolina a national championship win. Jordan was a hero in his first college season.
In the next two seasons, Jordan would continue to have success in North Carolina. Jordan was a first-team All-American during his sophomore and junior season. He also was a two-time USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year. In his junior season, he was named the College Player of the Year.
Jordan would set himself up to have a successful career in the NBA. He made a name for himself on the court and made a case for NBA teams to go after him.
Could Michael Jordan have played football at North Carolina?
While Jordan starred on the basketball court, he was an athlete. He was also talented in baseball and would end up playing with the Chicago White Sox. Basketball and baseball were two sports that Jordan had an interest in.
Though Jordan enjoyed playing those sports, he might have pursued a football career. During the summer before Jordan’s sophomore season, the team participated in some workouts. The current North Carolina head coach, Roy Williams, was an assistant to Dean Smith when Jordan was playing there. In an interview with Colin Cowherd on ‘The Herd,’ Williams talked about how athletic Jordan was during his time in college.
Williams talked about a time when Jordan ran a 40-yard dash, and it blew their mind. According to Williams, Jordan ran a 4.39 unofficial time. That’s a fast time for a 6-foot-6 player. Jordan could have been put at wide receiver and use his athleticism on the football field. That would have been a sight to see. Jordan always worked hard to be the best, and his results showed how much work he was putting in.
Comparing Jordan’s 40-yard dash time to the 2020 NFL Combine
There were only four players at the NFL Combine this Year who ran a 4.38 or faster in the 40-yard dash. The average height for those players was 5-11. Despite being 6-6 in college, Jordan knew how to use his speed on the court and be an effective scorer and playmaker.
When you see that time that Jordan ran in the 40-yard dash, you have to wonder what it would have been like if he went on to pursue a football career.