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Brother of Magic Johnson to speak at FGCU on addiction recovery

Tuesday night at Florida Gulf Coast University, the brother of Magic Johnson is opening up about his dark past and how he overcame it.

Larry Johnson shared with us how he is inspiring people to take control of their futures.

Basketball was a passion he and his brother shared.

“The no-look pass came from Larry Johnson, not Magic Johnson,” Larry said. “I never got credit for it, but that’s okay.”

Larry always wanted to become an NBA basketball player. That dream came true for his brother, but Larry says, he missed his shot.

“I started selling drugs and became my best customer,” Larry said as his life began to take a different course than his brother before graduating high school. “Before long, I got introduced to heroin and cocaine.”

He descended down a dark path of substance abuse and crime.

“I ended up getting arrested 14 different times and one time, I wanted to take my life,” he said. “I remember them telling me I’m gonna die with a spike in my arm, but I look at them, same people today, and say, I am somebody today.”

Somebody who turned their life around after addiction then started traveling to schools, prisons, rehab centers; anywhere his words could guide others out of the darkness and into the light.

“I started an organization called ‘Brotherhood Against Drugs,’” Larry said, “and when I see a kid at a restaurant or out shopping and they say, ‘Mr. Johnson, thank you for the advice…’ man you got me emotional right now, you know? I just believe in what I do.”

Working with up-and-coming athletes and students who have a dream and helping guide them so they don’t miss their shot.

“To have someone like Larry Johnson, who is a loving testimony to recovery, has an impact on those students,” said J. Webb Horton, FGCU assistant director of community outreach.

You can talk to Larry yourself Tuesday night at FGCU. Starting at 5:30 p.m. in room 214 of the Cohen Center, he’ll share his mission as part of FGCU’s lecture series.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Briana Harvath
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