Michael Jordan’s third and final retirement came in 2003 while playing for the Washington Wizards, and even during his last season in the league, each and every game he played at home were sold out, and averaged 19,311 fans on the road.
At that time the Wizards became the second most watched team in the NBA. This is in spite of Michael Jordan’s decline in numbers, for being slowed down by age and injuries including a torn cartilage in his right knee.
It is safe to say that one of those who never stopped watching Jordan even in his decline is Jeffrey Harrison. In fact, he still wakes up everyday and studies Jordan’s moves.
He’s his number 1 fan, and like his idol who kept pushing forward and kept his ground playing against youthful competition even at the age of 40, Jeffrey Harrison is such a solid competitor.
He plays lock down defense just like MJ, and refuses to be defined by naysayers around him. He is determined and believes he is a real good player, and strives to show it in the basketball court.
Harrison is also jobless and autistic. People in his own neighborhood enjoy making fun of him. But it doesn’t prevent him from following his passion, and unlike most people, he’s not afraid to show it.
And he shows it by playing in full Michael Jordan gear.
He plays pick up games in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho looking exactly like Jordan back in the day, in full detail down to his arm and leg sleeves as if time hasn’t passed since the 90s.
Michael Jordan has heard about his story and has sent him 2 boxes of full Jordan gears including a personal letter from the GOAT himself. Then Jeffrey Harrison got a surprise of a lifetime by receiving a phone call from Jordan.
“I knew it was him. It kind of brought me to tears after I got off the phone so I figured this is really going to be nice,” Jeffrey Harrison said, as reported on Fox Sports.
According to a report by KREM, Harrison’s close friend Alfred Byrd said, “He’s always striving to succeed on what he wants to be in life a lot of people don’t have that inside that drive inside to push themselves he’s been pushing the day he was born and he hasn’t stopped now.”
Harrison doesn’t feel vindicated, only gratitude. “The fact that Michael Jordan took the time to call and put all this together. I love it, even the cologne, even the sweats. I love it.” Harrison said.
He remains focused on his goal and passion, and still doesn’t mind what others say he cannot do. After all, he learned his most valuable lesson from the greatest of all-time written in his letter; one we can all re-learn for ourselves in life…
“Continue to believe in yourself, play hard and always remember to enjoy the game.”
Photo courtesy: Basket Streaming/Flickr.com