The God in Youth―Michael Jordan There were already signs that he had a good deal of talent. Harvest Smith, a classmate and close friend who in those days played basketball with him practically every day, thought he was the best player on their ninth-grade team ― he was small, but he was every quick. The summer after ninth grade, Jordan and Smith both went to Pop Herring’s basketball camp. Neither of them had yet come into his body, and almost all of the varsity players, two and sometimes three years older, seemed infinitely stronger at that moment when a year or two in physical development can make all the difference. In Smith’s mind there was no doubt which of the two of them was the better player it was Michael by far. But on the day the varsity cuts were announced it was the big day of the year, for they had all known for weeks when the list would be posted he and Roy Smith had gone to the Laney gym. Smith’s name was on it, Michael’s was not.