The Economic Club Of Soutwestern Michigan opens spring session with businessman and former NBA and MSU basketball standout Earvin "Magic" Johnson March 20

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan opens its spring session March 20 with Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr., businessman and former NBA and MSU basketball star, Club President Michael Cook announced today. The member-only meeting will be at the Mendel Center for Arts and Technology, Lake Michigan College, Benton Township, Mich. Doors will open at 5 p.m. for Upton Hall members and 6 p.m. for Mainstage Auditorium members.

MagicJohnson EnlargeJohnson was raised in Lansing, Mich. He earned his famous nickname, "Magic," after a sportswriter witnessed the Everett High School basketball player score 36 points, grab 16 rebounds and make 16 assists in one game.

Johnson continued to play at Michigan State University, leading them to a Big Ten Conference Title his freshman year and an NCAA championship his sophomore year. The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Johnson in 1979, and the 6-foot, 9-inch tall player was instrumental in helping his team be one of the NBA's top teams throughout the 1980s.

In 1991, Johnson retired from pro basketball after revealing that he had the HIV virus. However, he returned to basketball in 1992 to win a gold medal with the "American Dream Team" in the Summer Olympic Games, Barcelona, Spain.

After retiring, Johnson founded and still chairs the Magic Johnson Foundation that is a significant supporter of HIV/AIDS research efforts and awareness programs. The foundation also addresses the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.

This month, Johnson will discuss his real life experiences of meeting life's challenges both on and off the basketball court.

The Economic Club meetings are open to members only. Membership applications for the 2011-2012 season are closed. Those interested in joining The Club may add their names to a waiting list for the 2012-2013 season at Email or call (269) 982-6010 to request more information. For a response, include your name, email or postal address and phone number.