Magic Johnson speaks candidly about past, future with TV5 - WNEM TV 5

Magic Johnson speaks candidly about past, future with TV5

Aisha Howard sits down with Magic Aisha Howard sits down with Magic
Aisha Howard Aisha Howard

If you've ever been in the presence of a celebrity, you know when they enter the room; it's like they have this larger than life halo effect.

When Earvin "Magic" Johnson entered the Leopard Lounge at the Temple Theater Tuesday night, it was like an old friend was returning home. It was genuine.

Thankfully for me, that helped our one-on-one interview flow like Magic's no-look pass. He opened up to me in a way I didn't expect.

First, I wanted to know what led Magic to get involved with fundraising efforts for Saginaw Public Schools. He said he knew he wanted to step in after meeting Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins. He referred to him as a "Super Superintendent."

Since he was now throwing his support behind Saginaw Promise, an organization that raises money to send students to college, I wanted to know what encouraging words he had for students who feel there is no hope for a better future.

"Dream. Just because your environment may be poor doesn't mean you have to have those poor thoughts or poor dreams, and I didn't," he said. "I always wanted to play in the NBA and I always wanted to be a business man, and that's what I'm doing now."

'Dream' was translated into the theme of the night. Students left feeling encouraged; I was encouraged to do more for my community regardless of economic status.

We know a lot of Magic's less popular decisions have played out publicly.

When I asked if he would change anything is his life, he replied, "No, I wouldn't change anything. Even dealing with HIV 20 years later. They said I wouldn't be here, I'm here. The medicine has done its part. I'm doing my part by working out every day. I kept a positive attitude through all of that."

The event pulled in at least $70,000. Four audience members gave $10,000 during the fundraiser, another person donated $10,000 afterward and Johnson pledged $20,000 of his own money.

You can watch my interview with Magic by clicking play on the video player at the top of this page.

Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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