Magic Johnson Hosts New Show On ASPiRE Network

Though it has been years since he was on the courts, Magic Johnson is always on the move. Not only is Magic a basketball legend, today he is a business pioneer, philanthropist, and serving as his own talk show host for a new program called Magic in the Making.

Launched on June 27, 2012, by Magic Johnson Enterprises, the ASPiRE network aims to bring “authentic portrayals of Black and urban culture through stories of Heritage, Heart and Humor.” The programming consists of movies, specials, and series on a variety of subjects including music, comedy, faith/inspiration, theater/performing arts, lifestyle, and news. The goal is always the same: to inspire its audience. Up until now, Magic himself had not been featured on the network. This month he gives it try.

Today, the ASPiRE network announced that the NBA legend will be starring in his own original talk show, Magic in the Making. Premiering on Monday, March 28, Johnson’s first guest will be Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American female principal dancer.

“It is with great pleasure that we present this special presentation of Magic in the Making, a show that allows me to sit down and have candid, honest and heartfelt conversations with prominent, successful, extraordinary African-Americans,” said Johnson in the press release. “It is an honor to launch this series with the incredible Misty Copeland, who has achieved the highest recognition in her craft and continues to make an impact on our society. Misty is a phenomenal individual who is committed to using her gift and her platform to change the face of classical ballet, but also to insure that more aspiring African-American ballerinas will follow in her footsteps. I am excited to share with our viewers her story of extraordinary success that will inspire and entertain.”

During the 30-minute special, Copeland shares her determination on how she rose to the top. She describes herself as “an unlikely ballerina.” She didn’t begin ballet classes until she was 13 years old at the Boys and Girls Club in San Pedro, California, and up until now, it was unheard of that a black woman could succeed so well in the world of ballet.

After Copeland studied at the San Francisco Ballet School, she did a summer intensive at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) where she won the title of National Coca-Cola Scholar in 2000. She joined ABT that same year. By 2007, Copeland had become the company’s second African-American female soloist, a spot that took 20 years to fill. In August of last year, Copeland became the first African-American woman to ever be promoted to the principal dancer position in the company’s 75-year history.

“It is with high regard that we present this endearing and candid conversation with the incredible Earvin Johnson and the phenomenal Misty Copeland,” said Melissa Ingram, vice president of business affairs and channel operations for ASPiRE. “This is the first time that these athletic geniuses have graced the stage together to talk intimately about their talent, fame and aspirations. Earvin has an innate ability to relate to people and make them feel comfortable sharing their innermost feelings and reflections. Our viewers can expect to see both Misty and Earvin as they’ve never seen them. We hope that their conversation will inspire others, particularly the next generation of future game changers and history makers to go after and attain their dreams. Misty did it. Earvin did it and they can too.”

Magic in the Making premieres on Monday, March 28, at 9:00 p.m. (EDT) and is an exclusive show for ASPiRE.

[Photo by Larry Busacca /Getty]