The Girl Who Changed Magic Johnson
Hydeia Broadbent was 7 when she had her Magic moment.
She was the tiny grade-schooler. He was one of the world’s greatest basketball players.
As she cried, Magic Johnson reached his giant right hand out and placed it on her shoulder. Neither knew what their futures held, but they had one thing in common bigger than both of them: They were HIV-positive.
“I want people to know,” Hydeia said, sniffling, “that we’re just normal people.”
“Aww, you don’t have to cry,” Johnson replied, “because we are normal people. OK? We are.”
That scene was captured as part of a Nickelodeon AIDS special 20 years ago to inform America’s youth that the disease could affect anyone.
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On a recent March night in Los Angeles, Johnson again hugged Hydeia, his 6-foot-9 frame dwarfing her diminutive 4-foot-8 stature. Both were on hand for the screening in Los Angeles of “The Announcement,” an ESPN documentary about his coming forward with HIV. Hydeia’s tearful plea as a child is replayed in the documentary.