Magic Johnson helping L.A. football team pay for Ireland game

On Thursday, RivalsHigh senior analyst Dallas Jackson helped break the news that Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton High would be joining Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame High in Dublin in 2012 for what will almost surely be the longest distance, out-of-state game ever played.

While both teams will need to raise plenty of money to help defray immense costs of the trip, Notre Dame has a head start on fundraising because of its earlier commitment to play at the event. Shortly after word of Hamilton's inclusion in the event broke, the Los Angeles Times also reported of a big fundraising lift for Notre Dame, thanks to an unlikely celebrity source: Magic Johnson.

According to the Times, the Hall of Fame hoops star donated his Staples Center luxury suite to the school for the March 18 game between the Lakers and Timberwolves. Fittingly, the team is auctioning off the suite's use on eBay, with bids currently above $2,000 with days remaining. Here's hoping that the auction site doesn't charge its traditional sellers fees for the final sale cost, considering the fact that this is a charity auction.

As part of Johnson's luxury suite package, the winning bidder will get 10 tickets for the suite (pictured at right) -- complete with all of its amenities -- for the Lakers-Timberwolves game, two parking passes (guess people will have to carpool, huh?) and a signed Magic Johnson jersey (no word on whether it was a game jersey or a retro re-issue).

The "face value" of the package is some $3,500, but it goes without saying that it is actually worth significantly more, considering the fact that one doesn't usually get a chance to sit in Johnson's suite.

That matchup isn't even a complete dud anymore, either. It's a Friday night game featuring Kevin Love -- who just surpassed Moses Malone with his 52nd straight double-double -- and a Lakers team that can't afford to lose any more ground in the Western Conference. We'd go see that.

While $5,000 or whatever the suite eventually sells for certainly won't pay the team's way from California to the Emerald Isle, it's a good start. Now, if the Knights can just convince Blake Griffin to hold a charity dunk session to auction off, then they'd really be in business ...

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