Name: Magic Johnson
Basics: Hands down one of the greatest basketball players to ever pass through the NBA. The name “Magic” was something coined after a sports writer witnessed him accomplishing some magical basketball feats during his high school years. A great player who had contemporaries like Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Larry Bird. He retired from the Lakers after revealing he had HIV. His retirement from basketball wasn’t an ending, but the beginning of a business empire including several Starbucks franchises, some movie theaters and real estate holdings.
Why I Chose Him: I feel like Magic is another story of never giving up in the face of adversity. That almost seems to be the African-American narrative in a lot of ways. And I don’t think that narrative can be forgotten. This man was diagnosed with a diseases that was considered a practical death sentence at the time. That would defeat many a man, but instead he picked himself up and built an empire for himself. He didn’t let a setback became his fate. His entrepreneurial spirit is integral for African-Americans looking to build economic capital.