Earvin “Magic” Johnson inspires basketball campers

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The Step-Off Sports 2K16 Basketball Camp wrapped up Sunday at Columbia High School. In addition to learning basketball fundamentals, campers got the unique opportunity to listen to an NBA Legend share a little of his "magic".

None of the campers were even born, during Earvin "Magic" Johnson's heyday with the Los Angeles Lakers, yet the abundance of smart phones in the hands of campers tells you how big of a deal it was.  “I want to make sure that they know they can do it if they apply themselves, if they stay disciplined, if they really master the basics of basketball," says Johnson.

With it being a basketball camp, of course, hoops was a big topic.  “When you play the game of basketball, everything depends on balance," says Johnson.

As with so many sports, lessons taught by resilience on the court, can have applications in everyday life.

Johnson might as well be a poster boy for the benefit of balance between sports and business. He took the riches from his NBA career to invest in everything from the Los Angeles Dodgers to a life insurance and financial planning company.  “My love and passion was basketball but also too I was smart enough to know I needed to get a good education at the same time. You’ve gotta go to clas. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket," he says.

"Magic" knows better than anyone that most of the campers won't make it into the big leagues.  “But if you have discipline, you can use that in your job every day," says Johnson.

You could tell by the way he answered questions from the audience, that "Magic" receives as much joy as he gives his young and attentive audience. “Working with kids, I love it. That’s when I’m at my best," he says.

"Magic" Johnson has a Huntsville connection. His wife was born and raised in Rocket City.