Magic Johnson gives DC students pep talk

WASHINGTON — Basketball great and business executive Earvin “Magic” Johnson delivered a simple message to D.C. school kids at the start of the new school year: “If you get an education, then nobody can define who you are (and) what you can become.”

The Hall of Famer, who played on five NBA championship teams, joined Mayor Muriel Bowser Saturday at a back-to-school block party and rally outside Ron Brown College Preparatory High School — the only all male public high school in D.C.

“I wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for a guy who took me aside when I was a young man and said, ‘Magic, you can be more than just a basketball player.’ And this guy’s name is on this school right now. Ron Brown affected my life like no other man did,” Johnson told Ron Brown students, dressed in their school attire of khaki pants, white shirts, blue and gold ties and navy blue blazers.

The District unveiled the school system’s five-year strategic plan aimed at ensuring that every student feels loved, challenged and prepared for the future. Mayor Bowser announced that the union representing D.C. teachers ratified their first contract with the city in five years Friday night.

“I want to give a big shout out to our teachers of DCPS,” Bowser told a cheering crowd.

The public school system’s new chancellor, Antwan Wilson, said he was devoting his efforts to ensure excellence in the public schools.

“We have high expectations for all of our students. That means (getting) every one of them college- and career-ready,” Wilson said.

"If you get an education, then nobody can define who you are, what you can become." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
“If you get an education, then nobody can define who you are, what you can become,” Earvin “Magic” Johnson told students in D.C. at a Saturday block party. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The block party took place outside of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, an all male public high school. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The block party took place outside of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, an all male public high school. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The union representing D.C. teachers ratified their first contract with the city in five years Friday night, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The union representing D.C. teachers ratified their first contract with the city in five years Friday night, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Cheerleaders from Plummer Elementary School performed during Saturday's block party. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Cheerleaders from Plummer Elementary School performed during Saturday’s block party. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

The public school system's new chancellor Antwan Wilson said he was devoting his efforts to ensure excellence in the public schools by getting each student "college and career ready." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The public school system’s new chancellor Antwan Wilson said he was devoting his efforts to ensure excellence in the public schools by getting each student “college and career ready.” (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

(1/5)
"If you get an education, then nobody can define who you are, what you can become." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The block party took place outside of Ron Brown College Preparatory High School, an all male public high school. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The union representing D.C. teachers ratified their first contract with the city in five years Friday night, said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Cheerleaders from Plummer Elementary School performed during Saturday's block party. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
The public school system's new chancellor Antwan Wilson said he was devoting his efforts to ensure excellence in the public schools by getting each student "college and career ready." (WTOP/Dick Uliano)

Johnson is chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, which operates a number of businesses centered in African American communities, including AMC Magic Johnson Capital Center 12 in Largo. The company also runs 10 Starbucks stores in D.C.

“Once you do make it, you come back, reach back and give back to your community because that’s what it’s all about,” Johnson told Ron Brown students.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up