I published a piece at Grantland! And more importantly, it was a story that I’m very proud of and happy to tell. On the left in the picture above is Ken Eller. Since 2009, he’s been on a quest to play Michael Jordan one-on-one. The two of them — as you can tell because the above photo exists — have met several times, but no one-on-one game has been officially set.
But during his quest to convince Jordan to play him, other doors have opened up and Eller has discovered many other rewarding experiences along the way.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
Nine months after he came up with his goal of playing Jordan, Eller started mevsMJ.com. He was now in his early thirties, married, and working full time in financial services.
Eller thought this would be simple. He would get in shape, then incorporate basketball training into his life, and it would all culminate with a one-on-one game against Jordan. He expected it to take about a year, and was excited to document it on his website. Eller had no kids, so he had extra time to prepare.
By 2010, Eller was participating in half-marathons and working out regularly at Orlando Hoops, a basketball training facility in Florida. Now that his adventure was under way, Eller needed to address the most important part of his goal: finding Mike.
Eller already knew how he would make it happen. He had been saving up money to attend the Michael Jordan Senior Flight School, an annual three-day event that Jordan organized. Registration, which cost $15,000, was limited to 60 to 70 people. For that price, attendees got to be on the same court as Jordan. The Bulls legend often brought in former players, speakers, and coaches. Guests had included Charles Barkley, John Thompson, Mike Fratello, Gene Keady, and Mike Krzyzewski. Camp attendees received Jordan apparel, ran basketball drills, and, because the camp was often held in Las Vegas, there were extracurricular activities such as poker tournaments.