ROANOKE, Va. -- Students in Roanoke got an uplifting pep talk from NBA superstar Magic Johnson during a surprise visit Wednesday.
The new Los Angeles Lakers President stopped by Lucy Addison Middle School to share his experiences growing up and how he overcame them.
"Just because you grow up a certain way don't mean you have to have poor dreams," Johnson said to the students.
The Hall of Famer said he grew up in a similar-sized community in Michigan.
Johnson also shared his struggle with reading and how the educators at his school helped turn his life around.
“I wanted them to know I believed in them because somebody believed in me. My teachers believed in me and so that help me out a lot,” said Johnson.
He went on to say that guidance helped him become a leader and find success on and off the basketball court.
Johnson was recently named President of Basketball Operations with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is part of ownership groups for the LA Sparks and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His surprise visit followed Roanoke City Schools’ partnership with Johnson’s food service company Sodexo Magic.