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Overcoming Adversity In My Life By Earvin Johnson

879 words - 4 pages

“Here I am, saying [HIV] can happen to everybody… Even me, Magic Johnson” (Johnson 292). Tragedies happen to everybody, even superstars. However, it is how people deal with these tragedies that develops true character. In My Life, by Earvin Johnson, his story demonstrates perseverance, hard-work, and leadership. With these values, Johnson overcame adversity and rose to the heroic status that he now holds.
This rich NBA great was not always the wealthy man everyone knows; through hard-work, he achieved status. Earvin Johnson grew up in a large and poor family. “With so many kids to take care of, my parents didn’t have enough money left over for luxuries” (Johnson 6). Johnsons’ parents believed in the value of hard-work, and stapled this into his mind at a young age. With this idea in mind, Johnson picked up a basketball. Basketball was always a great love of his, and he always wanted to make it to the next level. With the preaching of this value by his parents, he worked hard and became very good. After years of practicing and coming up through a troubled childhood, Magic was presented a great opportunity. Since he was so good at basketball, all the major colleges wanted him to play for them, “I finally narrowed down the field to two choices… the University of Michigan and Michigan State” (Johnson 51). It was a decision that would change his life, and after many hard days of going back and forth, he decided to attend Michigan State University.
As the years flew by at Michigan State, Johnsons’ dedication to the game began to pay off and was now suspected to be a future great in the NBA. After college, Johnson was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. He had finally made it, and was ecstatic to get the chance. “I looked at myself in the mirror, a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, my eyes filled with tears… A lot of people thought I’d never get this far” (Johnson 101). Since he was given these great opportunities, he knew he had to succeed, and he did. In the years following, Johnson lead his team to five championship victories, and won three MVP awards. His ability to devote his entire life to the game of basketball defined how dedicated he really is. Johnson was able to stay devoted to the game even with all the endorsements, the money, and the girls, “I told all the women I knew that they’d have to take a backseat to basketball” (Johnson 250) However, that does not mean he totally ignored women either because on November 7th, 1991, Magic Johnson officially retired from the NBA due to acquiring HIV. ...

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