Hornets owner Michael Jordan announced the donation of $7.2 million for two medical clinics in Charlotte, during an emotional ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday at the first facility.
Jordan, 56, says the philanthropic gift is for a community “that’s supported me over the years, when I was playing the game of basketball to now where I’m a part of this community.”
The clinics are expected to serve 35,000 patients in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods over the next five years.
“I’ve gone off and made my life in Illinois and other places,” Jordan said, referring to his NBA Hall of Fame years with the Chicago Bulls. “But I know where it all begins.”
“And I don’t need my mother to constantly remind me about that,” Jordan said as the crowd laughed. “I can only give in gratitude for what I can never repay.”
Over the years, Jordan and the Hornets also have contributed nearly $750,000 to Novant Health Community Care Cruiser, which provides immunizations to under-served youth, according the team’s site. Other donations have gone to literacy efforts in low-income Charlotte neighborhoods.
“It’s not the financials but (it’s) from the heart — a passion from what this city, this state has given back to me,” Jordan said Thursday. “I can never repay what you have given to me. But this is a start.”