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Bing, Dave  

Thomas Aiello

basketball player. David Bing was born and raised in Washington, D.C., where he attended Spingarn High School. He starred on the Spingarn basketball team, earning All-Metro honors and in 1962 being named a Parade All-American. That success drew the attention of the University of Michigan and the University of California at Los Angeles, but Bing instead chose to attend Syracuse University, reasoning that he would be more successful at a basketball program with a lower profile. He was correct. In three of his four seasons at Syracuse, Bing led the team in scoring, averaging more than twenty points a game. In his senior year (1966) Bing averaged 28.4 points a game—fifth highest in the country—and was named an All-American. Meanwhile he turned the perennially struggling Syracuse into a winning program. Professional scouts noticed, and in 1966 the Detroit Pistons drafted Bing in the first round of ...


Bing, David “Dave”  

Bijan C. Bayne

was born in Washington, D.C., to Juanita, a housekeeper, and Hasker, a bricklayer. He was the second of four children in a two-bedroom, one-story home. Bing’s father nicknamed him “Duke” because he was good with his hands (his “dukes”). When Bing was five he was playing with a rocking horse he had made with two sticks nailed together. He tripped and accidentally poked his left eye with a rusty nail. His family could not afford to pay for an operation, and his vision became somewhat impaired. Bing’s father suffered a severe head injury while working at a construction site, when a brick fell four stories onto his head, causing a brain clot.

As a youngster Bing frequented far northeast D C s popular Watts playground where older boys such as Marvin Gaye hung out His hero was local product Elgin Baylor a Los Angeles Lakers superstar Bing enrolled at Spingarn ...


Johnson, Magic  

Born in Lansing, Michigan, Earvin Johnson acquired the nickname Magic after a high school Basketball game in which he scored 36 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and made 16 assists. At Michigan State University, the 2.1 m (6 ft, 9 in) Johnson helped the Spartans, the university team, win the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship in 1979.

Johnson left college after his second year (1979) to join the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He helped lead the Lakers to five NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988). Johnson was named the NBA's most valuable player three times (1987, 1989, and 1990). He played in many All-Star games and, at the time of his retirement, held the NBA record for assists (9921 Johnson helped the Lakers become one of the ...


Johnson, Magic  

Emmett P. Tracy

basketball player, activist, urban developer. Born Earvin Effay Johnson Jr. to Christine and Earvin Johnson Sr. in Lansing, Michigan, Johnson won the 1979 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball championship and five National Basketball Association (NBA) championships before launching a career of public activism and urban development that made him one of the most successful African American businessmen of the late twentieth century.

Both Christine Johnson, a school custodian, and Earvin Sr., an assembly worker, worked hard to support Earvin as a child. The sixth of ten children, Earvin exhibited an enthusiasm for life and, most significantly, basketball, from an early age. In 1974, Johnson enrolled in Everett High School in South Lansing, and quickly earned the nickname “Magic” as an emerging basketball prodigy. In 1977 as a junior he led Everett to the Michigan state championship and in his senior year he averaged almost ...


Jordan, Michael  

Jill Dupont

basketball player, businessman, and NBA owner. It is always something of a mystery how those born in unremarkable circumstances achieve transcendence within and beyond their fields of expertise. By whatever alchemy of talent, hard work, and historical circumstance, perhaps no one in recent history has better embodied the earthbound problems and gravity-defying aspirations of the United States than Michael Jordan.

Growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, Michael Jeffrey Jordan took to heart his parents lessons in diligence and human relations Instructed to treat everyone equally and with courtesy he experienced relatively few of the racial incidents that had occurred routinely in previous generations Jordan s anger flared once as a boy though when in response to a girl s racial slur he planted his popsicle on her head He acquired his work ethic like his height over time fueling himself with the real and imagined slights of ...