Earvin Johnson Jr. was born in Lansing, Michigan. The fourth of seven children, Johnson loved the game of basketball.
In 1977 Johnson’s high school team won the state championship. His passing and ball-handling skills won him the nickname “Magic.” In his second year at Michigan State University, his team won the national college basketball championship by defeating Indiana State University, a team led by future Boston Celtics star Larry Bird.
Johnson was selected first in the 1979 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He became the first rookie to start in an NBA All-Star game. When the Lakers went on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA championship, Johnson also became the youngest player ever to be named playoff MVP. At six-feet-nine-inches, Johnson became the first big man to excel at point guard, a position usually reserved for smaller players.
During Johnson’s twelve years with the Lakers, the team won five championships. He was chosen playoff MVP three times, was a twelve-time All-Star and the 1990 All-Star game MVP, and was named one of the fifty greatest players in the history of the NBA.
As head of Magic Johnson Enterprises, his focus on establishing businesses in underserved communities, training and hiring local residents, and employing local contractors has spurred urban development and raised awareness of the multicultural consumer.
The Magic Johnson Foundation has awarded more than $1.1 million to community organizations focusing on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, established four HIV/AIDS clinics, and provided college scholarships to more than 800 minority high school students.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a member of BGCA’s Alumni Hall of Fame.
Boys & Girls Clubs National Alumni; For more information, visit BGCA.org