Magic Johnson visits Memphis to inspire kids to beat the odds - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Magic Johnson visits Memphis to inspire kids to beat the odds

Magic Johnson speaking to a group of Booker T. Washington High School students. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Magic Johnson speaking to a group of Booker T. Washington High School students. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An NBA legend paid a visit to Memphis and focused on mentoring kids and sharing the message, "No matter where you're from, you can make it."

Before Earvin "Magic" Johnson proved to be one of the best all-time point guards in NBA history and before he became a business mogul, Johnson said he was just another underprivileged kid from Lansing, Michigan.

"I needed somebody to believe in me," Johnson said. "I grew up just as poor as you, but I didn't have poor dreams, and I was the first out of 10 kids to go to college."

Helping other kids go to college is what brought Johnson to Memphis. The Magic Johnson Foundation partnered with Cigna Healthcare and adopted Booker T. Washington High School, creating a $30,000 scholarship for seniors.

"Getting into college is difficult, but also how you're going to pay for college is difficult," said Johnson, explaining that he understands that not every student will choose the same path. "Those who may not be able to go to college can still get a trade."

When Johnson chose to venture from basketball to business, he said he needed direction.

"My mentors were able to help me when I went down that road," Johnson said.

BTW warrior Skylyne Bright said most students need guidance after graduation.

"After high school they just don't know where to go," said Bright. "They just get stuck in the neighborhood."

BTW basketball player Devin Oakley said he refuses to go down the wrong road, and that Johnson's visit is motivation to follow his dreams.

"I'm going to go to TSU to do nursing, and then go to the military and air force," said Oakley.

Johnson came down from the stage during his speech to speak openly and honestly with the students.

"My message to these kids: if I can do it, I know they can do it," said Johnson.

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