Monday, October 8, 2012

Former Los Angeles Laker to KCK youth: It begins with a dream


The goal for most basketball players in Kansas City, Kan., is someday making it to the NBA or any other professional league in the world.

For Clay Johnson, the goal was accomplished.

Johnson, who played professional basketball in the 1980's, recently spoke to members of the Kansas City Blue Dogs AAU basketball team.

Johnson gave students advice on not only improving their games, but their lives off the court.

"You are the luckiest young men," Johnson said. "You have people taking their time out and caring about you enough to help out."

Johnson played with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1982-83, the Seattle SuperSonics from 1983-84 and the Kansas City Sizzlers from 1985-86.

Among Johnson's teammates were Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. During his time with the Lakers, Johnson would win a title.

"It starts with a dream and it starts with a vision," Johnson said. "You have to push yourselves and shoot for the best. This is an investment for you guys. Don't waste it."

Johnson played collegiate basketball for the Missouri Tigers and graduated from Manual High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Following his professional basketball career, Johnson established the Clay Johnson Foundation, an organization that looks to "enrich the lives" of youth in the Kansas City metro area. 


Disclosure: I volunteer as a coach with the Blue Dogs program.