When Michael Jordan surprised an elementary school in North Carolina this week -- the kids went WILD ... but they weren't quite sure who he was!
The whole story is sweet ... MJ rolled through Hornet's Nest Elementary and visited with teachers, students and staff -- and Principal Victoria Hicks tells us the place went crazy for the NBA star!
But the best part was the reaction of the students -- "It's funny because the students weren't born when Michael played basketball," Hicks says. And they asked some great questions.
-- "One kid asked if he still played. He said he was retired. They said, 'Retired? What's retired?'"
-- "Another student asked, 'How old are you now?' Are you 70?'"
-- "Something else that I thought was funny was that some of the kids were mistakenly calling him 'Michael Jackson!"
Michael's reaction? Hicks says he was smiling and laughing the entire time.
"I walked with Michael for 90 minutes. We went into 4 classrooms. I kept thanking him but he said it was his pleasure."
And now we all feel old.