JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - L.A. Lakers and NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson spent Thursday in the Capital City raising money in support of Jackson State University students.
The entrepreneur traveled to the Magnolia State to give deserving students the funds needed to stay in school and reach their goals.
Magic Johnson played auctioneer during the JSU First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon at the Jackson Convention Complex, raising more than $130,000.
The former Lakers point guard donated $100,000 to the fund and praised Jackson State First Lady Deborah Bynum for her efforts.
The money is designated for “well deserving academically sound” students.
“Dr. Bynum and his wife came out to see me and I told them I wanted to come give back, be part of the community, part of the campus of course, Jackson State University," said Johnson. “I’m just happy and proud of the work that they’re doing, and I just wanted to add to that.”
Johnson moved from basketball to owning various businesses including SodexoMagic, a food service and facilities management company that provides dining and catering services throughout JSU’s campuses.
Bidders were competing for two packages of Laker floor seats, four tickets and signed Lakers’ jerseys.
“Last year at our inaugural lunch we raised over $25,000 for student scholarships,” said Deborah, wife of JSU president Dr. William Bynum.
The goal for the second scholarship luncheon was $75,000.
The Michigan State graduate’s coveted Lakers swag helped bring in $145,000.