On Wednesday, Bobby Knight passed away, the legendary college basketball coach being eulogized far and wide for his impact on the game. One of those voices remembered the man was that of Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.
While Johnson never played for Knight, he remembered a time in high school when the coach was trying to recruit him to Indiana. It was a recruiting visit that Johnson said made waves throughout the school.
Johnson, who graduated from Everett High School (Lansing, Michigan) in 1977, remembers Knight coming on a recruiting trip in 1976. Knight had just coached his team to a 32-0 record and the NCAA Tournament title that spring.
Never short of swagger, Knight’s arrival on campus created buzz.
Rest in peace to Hall of Fame basketball coach Bobby Knight! I remember when he came to recruit me at Everett High School right after they went 32-0 and won the National Championship in 1976. All 1200 students skipped class that day because they wanted to catch a glimpse of the…
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) November 2, 2023
Of course, Johnson didn’t pick Indiana, instead taking his magical talent to Michigan State. It worked out pretty well for Johnson, winning the NCAA Tournament in 1979.
Knight won three NCAA championships with Indiana. He then went to Texas Tech where he built up the Red Raiders into a nationally recognized program.
In his seven full seasons in Lubbock, he took Texas Tech to the NCAA Tournament four times.
Lifetime, Knight had 902 wins.