June 08, 2020

When the Chicago Bulls played at Beloit

  • Michael Jordan arrives at Strong Stadium in 1985 as an honorary official in charge of the coin toss for a Buccaneers football game.
    Beloit College Archives

The Last Dance, the popular TV mini-series about the 1990s-era Chicago Bulls, is bringing back all sorts of memories of the team’s NBA dynasty featuring Michael Jordan.

But only a few years earlier, the Bulls team, which included an incredibly promising rookie in Jordan, held their preseason training in the Beloit College Fieldhouse.

We share two stories about this unlikely convergence between the NBA and our small college. Veteran Bulls beat reporter K.C. Johnson’89 was a self-described scrawny teenager back then with a ringside seat. He recently wrote about this little known chapter in Beloit’s history for NBC Sports Chicago, where he covers the Bulls.

And in 2013, College Archivist Fred Burwell’86 covered Beloit’s brush with sports stardom in a Fridays with Fred column, a popular series he initially wrote for a weekly college newsletter.


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  • Students talking together in front of Middle College, nearby trees budding with new spring leaves.

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  • Students in Center for Language Studies participate in many activities as a part of their immersive experience.

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