by Jacque from Leawood

"The only time I think about HIV is when I have to take my medicine twice a day."

You probably haven’t ever heard of a man named Earvin Johnson, but you might know of him by the name “Magic.” On and off the court, Magic Johnson has been a hero throughout his life, and has excelled in everything that he has put his mind to, whether it be basketball, school, or helping out others.

His basketball career started in high school at Lansing Everett High in Lansing, Michigan. He got his nickname “Magic” from a local sports reporter because of his great passing and his overall skill at basketball. In high school, he was one of the best in the nation and was selected as a McDonald’s All American. Even being an amazing basketball player didn’t keep him from doing well academically.

“Magic” was accepted into Michigan State University, which was good because he was able to stay close to his family and friends from home. While at Michigan State, he proved to be great even against the best players and teams. He led Michigan State to the NCAA Championship in 1979, where he helped them win the title. In college, he also was an All American twice, an All Big Ten twice, and he was inducted into the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame.

By now, every professional basketball coach knew of Magic Johnson. Almost every team wanted him for their own. In the 1979 NBA Draft, he was drafted first overall to the Los Angeles Lakers. In his rookie season, he led the Lakers to the NBA Finals where he won his first championship as a professional basketball player. He went on to win four more titles in his basketball career, and five overall (1980, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88.) Also in his career, he was named the finals MVP three times, won the NBA MVP three times, and he went on to break many NBA records and L.A. Lakers records. Johnson was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players. All of Magic Johnson’s basketball feats and records have inspired me to become a better basketball player, and a better overall athlete.

Magic Johnson retired after the 1991 season. But, he still had a great love for basketball so he decided to stay with the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers. He started coaching and stayed as the coach for one season. Also after his playing career ended, he was a broadcaster for NBC and he was Vice President of the Lakers.

Johnson retired because he found out that he had HIV/AIDS. He announced this to the world in 1991 when he retired. Doctors told him that he wasn’t supposed to live very long thereafter, but Johnson fought and has been doing great and is still alive to this day. Johnson says, "The only time I think about HIV is when I have to take my medicine twice a day." Because he has the disease, he started a foundation to help others who have HIV/AIDS as well. His foundation is called the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF). He holds events, auctions, and anything else he can, to help raise money to find a cure for the deadly disease.

Since Hurricane Katrina, “Magic” has also been very busy helping out. Johnson went to a site where 110 evacuees have been living. He greeted all of them and talked to them and hugged every one of them. Johnson then went before them, spoke with sympathy and raised their spirits. His foundation is trying to give every one of the evacuees a job. Also, Johnson is working with a company, called Sav-On Drugs, to provide medicine and Albertson’s to provide food. He also said that he would donate clothes and shoes from his own clothing line. And last, he said that he would personally take families out to the movies, ball game, and have barbecues to help take their minds off the tragedy.

Magic Johnson has had an amazing life: fighting HIV/AIDS, helping out those in need, and of course playing basketball. Magic Johnson has inspired me to become a better basketball player, a better person, and an overall better citizen. These reasons and more are why Magic Johnson is my hero.

Page created on 11/1/2005 7:14:42 PM

Last edited 11/1/2005 7:14:42 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

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