Posted by: Administrator | April 22, 2013

I’ve learned that some heroes never go away…


Earvin “Magic” Johnson was my hero growing up. His jersey hung above my bed and I had the gold and purple Converse Weapons. I wore the number 32 and focused on assists, rebounds and playing defense instead of shooting and scoring. I made a pilgrimage to his high school when passing through East Lansing, MI on a family road trip. So much of my formative years centered around basketball, and around patterning myself after his style of basketball.

I cried when our middle school coaches broke the news of his diagnosis. Basketball without Magic Johnson was a foreign concept, a different, less enjoyable game.

I suppose in the years since I’ve observed him from a distance, never wanting to get too close for fear that I’d have to watch my hero die an agonizing death. This past weekend I watched the Espn 30 for 30 documentary “The Announcement”. The film both accessed compartments of my soul that had long since been compartmentalized and shuttered and resonated with me deeply given my own journey after basketball and its disruptive challenges and need for surrender to defined set of medical constraints.

As a child, Magic taught me that an exquisite assist is always more fun than scoring on your own — that the real joy of the game was found in the shared success of the team above all.  In my current phase of life perhaps now he’s still teaching me a different set of lessons applicable outside the gymnasium –lessons that I can focus on and carry with me long after I’ve hung up the laces for good.

Hello, Magic. I’ve missed you…


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