There was a time when Earvin “Magic” Johnson was not the legendary point guard for the LA Lakers. Rather, he was just one of several children living with their folks in Lansing, Michigan, where his dad, Earvin Johnson Sr., worked two jobs — on the assembly line at General Motors and collecting garbage. His mom, Christine Johnson, was a school custodian during the day and took care of the household and prepared meals for the next day at night.
In addition to their children, Christine and Earvin Sr. shared a background in basketball. He had played basketball in high school growing up in Mississippi; she had played basketball as a youngster in North Carolina. As young Earvin grew to 6’3”, he found his place on the basketball court with his dad providing tips.
Their personalities, work ethic and the importance they placed on their family made a lasting impression on the youngster as he grew both personally and professionally.
According to Magic, “I got blessed from my mom. She’s the personality; she’s the one who smiled, so I took on part of her, and who also wanted to help and save the world. Then I took on part of my dad, who is tough.”
Time and time again, Magic has been an inspiration for both young people and adults. Over the years he has overcome racism, adapted to celebrity status, acknowledged his diagnosis of being HIV positive and been on the forefront for numerous causes.
He admits, “I have to tell you, I’m proudest of my life off the court. There will be great basketball players who bounce that little round ball, but my proudest moments are affecting people’s live, effecting change, being a role model in the community.”
Thanks to Gateway To Opportunity Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Lisa Cooley, the 58-year-old LA Lakers president of operations will have the opportunity to be such a role model when he addresses Family Gateway’s fifth annual fundraising luncheon presented by MetroPCS on Friday, October 19, at the Omni Dallas Hotel.
According to Gina, “Lisa and I are thrilled to have such a respected and renowned individual to join us for this important fundraising event for Family Gateway. His universal appeal will not only help raise funds, but we are hopeful that it will help increase awareness about Family Gateway and the invaluable services that the organization provides.”
BTW, this year Christine and Earvin Sr. celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Sponsorships are available here.
* Photo provided by Family Gateway