Community Connection: Former Phoenix Suns player Eddie Johnson shares his story of success & giving

Eddie Johnson fell in love with basketball at the age of 13 years old. He had a difficult time giving up baseball which had consumed him up until then, but growing like a weed and coming from a basketball pedigree (family), the sport won him over and he has never looked back.

Eddie attended Westinghouse High School in Chicago, Illinois and was a teammate of Mark Aguirre who was the NBA's #1 pick in the 1981 draft. (Dallas Mavericks) During his senior year, he was awarded 2nd-Team Parade High School All-American, 1st-Team All-State and was also voted Chicago's 1977 Basketball Player of the Year.

He was chosen to represent the USA that summer alongside Hall of Famer and arguably the best player in the history of the NBA, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, at the Albert Schweitzer Games in Mannheim, Germany. They crushed opponents by an average of 30 points winning the tournament with ease!

He decided to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and play for Coach Lou Henson. During his stint there, Eddie was a two-time MVP selection and, in his senior year, he was chosen All-Big 10. Eddie stayed all four years and departed in 1981 as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,692 points and 831 rebounds. Receiving a BS in History he became the first in his family to acquire a college education. To this day, this is his biggest accomplishment! Eddie was drafted the 29th (6th pick 2nd round) player by the Kansas City Kings in 1981 and went on to enjoy a 17 year career!

Today, Eddie Johnson is an author, motivational speaker, and sports personality. The NBA star hosts an annual event through his foundation, Eddie Johnson and Friends, benefitting nonprofit Helping Hands for Single Moms. Johnson's event has raised $170,000 which assists low-income single mothers as they pursue a college education and financial independence.

To learn more, donate or volunteer with Helping Hands for Single Moms visit, helpinghandsforsinglemoms.org.

Print this article Back to Top