Michael Jordan joining N.C. Hall

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is finally being inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place in Charlotte on Dec. 14 at halftime of the game between the Toronto Raptors and the Charlotte Bobcats. Jordan is the Bobcats' majority owner.

The hall's board of directors elected Jordan in 1993 after he led the Chicago Bulls to the third of six NBA championships. But he had retired from basketball and was playing minor-league baseball, starting a long wait for a hall that requires inductees to personally accept the invitation.

Jordan hit the jump shot in 1982 that gave Dean Smith his first NCAA championship at North Carolina. He played his high school basketball at Laney High School in Wilmington.

In a statement, Jordan called the induction a "tremendous honor."

"When I think about all the great athletes from North Carolina that inspired me to become the best I could be, it's humbling to know that now I stand with them as members of a very special fraternity," Jordan said.

Hall executive director Don Fish said there had been several attempts to schedule an induction ceremony over the years, but the North Carolina native and former Tar Heels player was often unavailable when the hall typically conducted induction ceremonies in May. He said Jordan's absence had been particularly noted by children who visited the hall, located in the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.

"The one question they ask is, 'Where's Michael Jordan?'" Fish said. "Shortly we will have that answer."

This month's ceremony will include a video tribute to Jordan, while many current members of the hall and its board of directors will be on hand for the oncourt presentation and a reception.