Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan has unveiled the first of two medical clinics he has funded.
The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinic will provide medical care for Charlotte residents including underinsured and uninsured.
In an emotional speech during the opening of the $7.2 million facility, the Charlotte Hornets owner and NBA legend had tears running down his cheeks, saying: “This is a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that has supported me over the years.”
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“It’s … from the heart,” the 56-year-old continued, telling the crowd: “I stand here before you as a proud parent, son, obviously a member of this community.
“You see my name, but yet you see a lot of people behind me and the commitment, especially from my mom, about caring for other people and being a part of a community that matters.”
The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinic on Freedom Drive and a second facility expected to open on Statesville Avenue are expected to serve at least 35,000 children and adults over the next five years, the Charlotte Observer reports.
The clinic provides both primary health care services as well as access to social workers, behavioral health experts, oral health practitioners, and physical therapy.
Jordan since becoming the majority owner of the Hornets in 2010 has ramped up his charitable giving, the Charlotte Observer added.
Jordan’s philanthropic history includes a 13-year run of the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational charity golf tournament and the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work, founded in 1996.
As a player, Jordan also once donated his entire salary in the 2001-02 season to 9/11-related charitable groups.
Over the years, Jordan and the Hornets, according to the team’s site, also have contributed nearly $750,000 to Novant Health Community Care Cruiser, which provides immunizations to under-served youth. Other donations have gone to literacy efforts in low-income Charlotte neighborhoods.
Two years ago, Jordan was named the world’s highest-paid athlete of all time by Forbes Magazine. Just this month, Business Insider also reported Jordan makes more money now retired than any active NBA player and has an estimated net worth of about $1.9 billion.
“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.”
The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic opened just over three weeks ago and has already cared for more than 300 people.