The Time I DIDN’T Play Basketball with Michael Jordan
At my first real radio job in Bloomington IL, the station had a charity basketball team called "The WBNQ Cheapshots." Personalities from the station would head out to different towns taking on local VIP's in a game of 5 on 5. (Think "Donkey Basketball" but with dj's!)
I had just been hired as a weekend jock right around the time of the Cheapshots biggest charity game ever. It wasn't the opponent that made this one huge but rather a special ringer playing for the radio station team. The NBA rookie of the year, Michael Jordan.
Because the event was a fundraiser for Special Olympics, Michael agreed to lower his appearance fee to $10,000. Stickland Chevrolet fronted the cash and in exchange, they got an on-site autograph session with Jordan Saturday afternoon prior to the game.
For $5, fans could see Jordan and the radio personalities take on the Twin City All Stars: a team made up of former ISU basketball players including Rickie Johnson, Hank Cornley and Michael McKenny. Stan Albeck was the coach of the Cheapshots. It was also the first time he'd be coaching Michael Jordan.
By the time it was over, Jordan racked up 71 points as the Cheapshots beat the All Stars 93-90. $22,000 was raised that night.
While I was a member of the Cheapshots during my time at WBNQ, I don't remember suiting up that night. Why?
Well...when our program director, Mike Justin, asked for a volunteer to cover the airshift, guess who was first to raise his hand!
(I'd rather not reveal that dumb bastard's name, but I've been told he has no regrets and stands by the decision.)
Listen to our interview with my old boss Mike Justin below.
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