‘I want a Super Bowl ring’: Magic Johnson meets fans in new Commanders community

The NFL season kicks off this week, with the Washington Commanders taking on the Arizona Cardinals.

Ahead of the season opening game, the team’s new co-owner, NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, visited the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on Thursday to meet fans and give back to his new community.

“I am a product of the Boys and Girls Club. I wouldn’t have made it to the NBA without the Boys and Girls Club. … And I’m going to start someone’s bank account today,” he said.

Magic Johnson at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington on Thursday with other Commanders team leaders. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)

The Washington Commanders Charitable Foundation hosted Johnson at an after-school event where he made a $50,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club.

Johnson also surprised one 13-year-old James Madison Middle School student Kanga Gwanyama with a $5,000 check to start his own bank account.

“I’m definitely going to share it with all my family,” he said. “I’m very shocked, I’m very excited.”

Gwanyama said he plans to take Johnson’s advice and invest the money in a savings account.

Johnson poses with a young Washington Commanders fan at Thursday’s after-school event. (WTOP/Heather Gustafson)

As for Johnson, he said the Boys and Girls Club is where he got his start on the basketball court so many years ago.

“I came from the same neighborhood as you. Just because I grew up poor doesn’t mean I have poor dreams,” Johnson said.

Johnson take a moment to reminisce about his upbringing, saying the club made him who he is and influenced his leadership skills.

He is also the first and only Black minority NFL owner.

“Now all African Americans and minorities in this country feel like they’re owners of this team too,” Johnson said. “I’m a guy who wants more. I’ve always wanted more, I have 14 World Championship rings and I want a Super Bowl ring.”

WTOP’s Ciara Wells contributed to this report.

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Heather Gustafson

Heather Gustafson is a Freelance Anchor/Reporter for WTOP, a DMV native and an Emmy award-winning journalist lauded for her 2020 Black Lives Matter protests coverage.

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