Magic Johnson’s influence on Detroit Piston Jonas Jerebko

December 5, 2012 in Professional

By Patrick Hayes

Current Detroit Piston Jonas Jerebko is the first Swedish-born player to play in the NBA, and apparently, a legendary player from the state of Michigan helped foster Jerebko’s love of basketball. Via SLAM’s Adam Figman:

SLAM: Magic Johnson played in Sweden for a little while in ’99. Did that have any affect on you?

JJ: Definitely—that gave basketball a big buzz in Sweden. He played for the team that my dad played for [previously], and I ended up playing for the same team. The gym was full. It was great for basketball. I wanted to go watch the games, and I always watched the games before, but when Magic came it was just a little extra. A lot of extra, actually. I got to go to two of his games.

SLAM: So that was a nice little basketball gift for you.

JJ: It definitely was. It was for the whole country. It gave it an extra buzz—everything was shown on TV and the media was talking it up. It was a big thing.

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