Magic Johnson endorses one girls basketball team above all others

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

Magic Johnson doesn't seem to have any ties to Los Angeles (Ca.) Windward School, other than perhaps owning a movie theater or a Starbucks near the Los Angeles-based private institution. That doesn't stop Magic from predicting a state title for the Wildcats' girls hoop team.

"Good luck, ladies," said Johnson in a video posted on the school's website (tip of the cap to the always great Varsity Times Insider). "Take state. This is the Magic man. I know you're going to win the championship, and you're going to win it in style. Great defense, great rebounding and then great offense. Good luck."

The city issued an ordinance back in the 1980's that required Magic to publicly endorse all L.A.-based basketball teams, or at least Prep Rally likes to think it did. Windward faces Oakland (Ca.) Bishop O'Dowd High in Saturday's CIF state championship Open Division in Sacramento.

During the 2009-10 season, Magic's daughter Elisa Johnson played as a freshman for Los Angeles (Ca.) Campbell Hall School (home of 76ers All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday), but she hasn't played the past three years, so the former Lakers star has clearly been searching for a girls basketball team he can believe in ever since. Enter the Wildcats.

Windward enters Saturday's final with a 32-0 record, including two wins over Campbell Hall by a combined score of 138-42. The Wildcats feature junior point guard sensation Jordin Canada, the No. 2-ranked player in her class, who is reportedly considering Stanford, Cal, USC, UConn and Tennessee -- but not Magic's Michigan St. Spartans?

Maybe Magic read a Los Angeles Times feature on Canada from two months ago, when her former coach Steve Smith described her as "a cross between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson." No big deal. Just two of the five greatest ever to play the game.

For Windward's sake, let's hope Magic's analysis of prep girls basketball is better than his commentary on ESPN's NBA Countdown. After all, he called the Lakers "the team to beat" this season, but he might have to say that. Part of that whole city ordinance thing.

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