Can you believe that Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, once thought he would never grow tall enough to play basketball at all? That the 6-foot-6-inch Chicago Bulls superstar was once too short to shoot past the big kids on the playground? It happened – at least that’s what his mother, Deloris Jordan, and his sister, Roslyn, write in their children’s book entitled Salt in His Shoes.
On Saturdays young Michael and his older brothers would play basketball at the park. Their team would often lose because Michael couldn’t play around the taller players. Finally, he asked his mother how he could grow taller so he could help his team win. What advice did she give him?
“Salt in your shoes,” his mama said. “Put salt in your shoes and say a prayer every night.”
Her answer sounded unbelievable, but Michael did it anyway. And he practiced harder than ever. Day by day, inch by inch, he got taller. Through his determination, hard work (and maybe just a little salt!), Michael got ready for his second chance on the basketball court. Deloris Jordan wrote this book about her famous son so that his story would inspire children to follow their dreams just like Michael followed his.
For another motivational book for children about athletes, read the book reviews on By My Brother’s Side by football players Tiki Barber and Ronde Barber or Out of the Ballpark by baseball player Alex Rodriguez (click on links below).
Black History Fact: In a sport where height is a definite advantage, some NBA players didn’t let lack of altitude get in the way of their attitude on the court. Point guard Muggsy Bogues was only 5-foot-3-inches. Spud Webb stood only 5-foot-7-inches.