Eddie Johnson practices with Centennial - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

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Eddie Johnson practices with Centennial

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Posted: Friday, November 26, 2010 9:30 pm

Former Phoenix Suns player and current color analyst for Fox Sports Arizona Eddie Johnson took time out of his schedule to run a practice for Kyrene Centennial Middle School's eight grade boy's basketball team on Monday, Nov. 22.

Johnson, who played in the NBA for 17 years and earned the Sixth Man of the Year award in 1989, demonstrated fundamentals to the team and talked about his road to becoming a professional basketball player.

"I try to get them focuses and understand nothing is going to be accomplished in life unless they put forth hard work," Johnson said.

Coach Mark Lemieux said it was a pleasant surprise when he found out that Johnson would be visiting his team.

"He's looking to help out and the kid's were excited to have him," Lemieux said. "And he was one of my favorite players."

Johnson stayed for about 90 minutes and talked about how he went to high school in a rough area of Chicago and how it motivated him to continue to work hard at his craft.

"Some of the moves I have, took me three weeks to learn," he told the team. "You have to continue to work to be able to improve."

In addition to being an analyst for the Phoenix Suns, Johnson spends a lot of his time visiting middle and high schools throughout Phoenix.

"I train kids all the time," he said. "I hope they got everything out of this. I'm that kind of person, when I talk to you, I want you to get everything."

The season is still young for the Centennial basketball team and Lemieux hopes Johnson's visit can keep them motivated for the rest of the year.

"It definitely doesn't hurt, having a former NBA player here," he said. "I think they got a lot out of it."

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