Covering Chicago's Back-to-School Season

Chicago Student's Story Brings Magic Johnson to Tears

Former NBA launches "Friends of Magic" initiative

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    Watch the former NBA star cry at the podium after an introduction by Haman Cross, a student at the Magic Johnson Lawndale Bridgescape Academy. (Published Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013)

    Magic Johnson showed his sensitive side in Chicago Wednesday.

    The former NBA star was brought to tears by student Hamen Cross, who attends the Magic Johnson Lawndale Bridgescape Academy.

    The alternative schools target students aged 13-21 who have dropped out of high school or at risk of not graduating, another path to earn a high school diploma. Johnson was in Chicago to help launch an extension of the program, the "Friends of Magic" initiative.

    Cross' introduction of Johnson on the podium brought the player to tears.

    "Young man you made me feel so good ... just to know that you changed your life and are headed in the right direction," Johnson said.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Grammy-winning Chicago rapper and actor Common also spoke at the event.

    Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academy contracts with Chicago Public Schools to help dropouts.