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Zeljko Koljesar
November 4, 1999
Prof. Miller
Engl 15, section 007

The Shiniest Star In The Sky


I am a freshman at Penn State University and I've been in school for just over two months now. The reason why I ended up enrolling into this particular University is because of volleyball. The coaches have recruited me last year and since Penn State is also a highly respected school I decided that this is the right college for me. It did not take a very long time for me to learn how demanding it is to play a sport at this high of a level. I have to spend many hours on keeping myself in shape, working out and playing volleyball. I consider myself just a regular athlete in comparison to all those other individuals who make it to pros after their college chapter of life. It's very demanding and tough to be an athlete and it is even more difficult to be one of the greatest in your sport. I have always admired Michael Jordan and the way how he proved day in and day out that he's one of the top players. I truly believe that he was and still is the greatest athlete of all time in this world. Many reasons stand behind my statement. What makes Jordan the best is his athleticism and talent, his devotion and love towards the game of basketball, his hard work on and off the court, his personal respect and respect for others, his leadership skills and his professional character.

A definition for an athlete in a Webster's dictionary states, "A person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina." Michael was extremely talented for the game of basketball. He simply had the feel for the game and he always knew what was happening around him. His touch was deadly and he could make a shot from anywhere on the court. This is the reason why he was the one with the basketball in the last ten seconds of the game. The strongest part of Michael's game was his consistency. He seemed to play his best game every time he stepped on the court. Following his talent, Jordan was blessed with the height, strength, quickness and amazing jumping ability. Basketball is a kind of a sport that requires a great athletic ability. Many times I was astonished with how high and how far away Jordan was capable of leaping and making a dunk. One year, he won the dunk contest. The dunk that Jordan made was from the foul line and it was something unbelievable to witness. To make it simple, Michael knew the game of basketball inside and out. He had the technique, he added the work ethic and created a strong mentality on top of that.

One more aspect that proves that Jordan was the best athlete is the statistics. Michael entered the league in the mid 80s and was drafted third by Bulls. He was exactly what the NBA needed, a spark that will change the game of basketball and make it more exciting to watch. Jordan was a three time NBA MVP. He won six NBA Championship titles in his career, and this is a pretty outstanding achievement. He was the final's MVP six times. Jordan made the All NBA First Team for seven straight years. He was also an All-Defense Team for six straight years. One time against Cleveland on March 28, 1990, Jordan scored sixty-nine points, which makes it his personal best. He was also capable of scoring thirty or more points on average in seven straight seasons. When you consider every accomplishment that I have just listed, that is already extremely impressive. However, I am sure that I am still missing many more. If Michael weren't such a great athlete he would never win so many awards. Even if you are not a basketball fan, after reading the statistics I am sure that you will realize how incredible Jordan's achievements actually are.

Michael Jordan fully devoted himself to the game of basketball. He has been a member of the Bulls squad for thirteen years in total. If you think about it, this is a long time to be playing a professional sport. Therefore if you were not devoted to the sport, you would definitely not be playing it for this number of years. However, this is not the only reason that shows how much Jordan loved to play basketball. During every match you could almost see it in his eyes how much he enjoyed to be on the court and to be competitive. Even a little thing sometimes, such as a gesture or a phrase that he said, would display the importance of basketball in Jordan's life. He did change the game and brought it up to another level. The Bulls games were extremely exciting to watch when he was the captain of the team. The intensity was high and every other team wanted to compete against Jordan and try to beat him. But it wasn't easy because Jordan would do the same thing to fight back his opponent. As a child I would never miss the match when the Bulls played. I extremely enjoyed watching the Bulls in the play-offs and witnessing the making of the history. It is almost obvious that Jordan's enthusiasm towards the game had made me favor it even more.

The work ethic that Michael put towards becoming the best he can possibly be is simply remarkable. He usually had two practices a day, one in the morning and one at night. Jordan's morning training included working out and conditioning. Even though he did not prefer having this type of the practice, he was still getting the job done. Then he would get on the court at night and play basketball with his teammates. What impresses me the most is that Jordan always practiced as if he was actually playing a match. He was intelligent enough to realize that how he performs during the training time will reflect in his game during the important match. So he always gave it all he had and he worked really hard. Besides this quality, Jordan never wanted to quit and put his head down. He is an aggressive type of a person and he is always stepping forward, whether this is on the court or in his personal life. He is a very confident person and this is one of the main reasons what made him the way he is today. In one of his interviews on TV, Michael said, "I prefer to take everything step by step and slowly reach my goal. During that time I do encounter failure, but I take it positively and turn it into a fuel to help me move forward." Jordan did not accomplish everything in a matter of a short time. After many years of devotion and hard work the results were created and the success was in Jordan's hands.

One other value that Michael possesses is the respect that he has for himself and for every other human being. If Jordan did not respect himself and what he has been given in life, his life would of definitely been different than it is right now. He always made goals for himself and he respected those goals at the same time. With this kind of an attitude, Jordan simply strived to achieve his goals. He did not take things the easy way. He respected the fact that an individual has to work hard in life to obtain success and personal happiness. It seemed that this type of an attitude worked extremely well for Jordan. Besides having personal respect, Michael had a great respect for other players and individuals around him. This has a positive effect upon the people who know Jordan and these same individuals can experience how good of a person Michael is. Having this kind of an approach towards life brought Michael all the respect that he has today.

One other quality that Jordan has is his leadership skills. He has always been the true captain of Bulls. Michael had the capability of controlling the game. His teammates followed his footsteps of hard work and they picked up their game too. Jordan knew how to bring out the best in others. Everyone is familiar with the duo of Jordan and Scottie Pippen. When these two were on the court playing with each other, Pippen's game was reaching the peak. The reason why Jordan motivated his teammates to play better is because he knew that he could not win everything by himself. Maybe he was able to win matches, but not the NBA Championships. Jordan understood that only a team of players could win something as major as the NBA Championship. He certainly had the team behind him and he certainly was the leader.

To top off Jordan's character is the class that he always showed to the publicity. For every match in Jordan's career, he was dressed up in a suit on the way to the site where his team was playing. This simply portrays that Michael had his own style and this is just another aspect of him besides the important ones, such as his unique personality and athletic ability. During his interviews he always spoke intelligently and sincerely. He is also a very likeable person and many companies use him for the advertisement of their ads. Jordan is one of those people who never did anything disrespectful in his life. He was always honest and he never went against his personal morals, which were very noble. However, he is only a human and there were rumors that at one time he was gambling while playing golf. This was never proven to be true and it is something that happened in the past. The last point that I want to bring across is that Michael always has time for his family. He said it himself that his family brings him more joy than basketball does and one of the reasons why he decided to retire is because he wanted to spend more time with his children. Jordan obviously appreciates other parts of life besides the sports and once you learn about this, you will think highly of Michael Jordan.

For a person to be named the greatest athlete of all times, he has to meet a number of criteria and be one of the best in them. Michael Jordan is definitely a well-rounded person and he was able to develop various aspects of his life. For an athlete it is essential to have the athletic ability in your sport, but to be the greatest many other qualities are involved too. All I have to say is that Michael possesses them. Those individuals who had the opportunity to see him play and learn about him can consider themselves lucky. Jordan has become an idol for so many fans and he is still admired by so many individuals. I can only wish that there could be more people in this world like him!


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