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November 9, 2006

Life turnaround

Ken Johnson tells his story to AHS



Anderson’s native son, Ken Johnson, came home to Anderson High School to share his inspirational message with students in Primus Mootry’s sophomore English class.

Johnson played with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1970 to 1977, and most Anderson residents will remember him as a basketball standout at Anderson High School, who stayed in state and attended Indiana University.

Now he is a part of the Sports World company based in Indianapolis. He travels around the country to talk to kids of all ages about the danger of substance abuse and alcohol.

Johnson’s message was a well-rounded one when he addressed the kids about success achieved, overcoming failure, always keeping faith and making the right decisions in life.

“LIfe is a wilderness you really don’t know what is around the corner,” Johnson said. “I share my experiences as an athlete from college to my transition to the NFL, when I speak to high school students. I like to teach the students that you have to be careful in life, because you will be confronted with decisions that can affect the rest of your life.”

Growing up, Johnson had a solid foundation in his family that played a strong part in his development. His mother provided and taught him the spiritual side of life, how prayer and faith can help you through the difficult times in life. Johnson’s father instilled discipline, teaching his son to avoid putting himself in bad situations that could lead to negative experiences.

“It was great to have my brother come home and share his story with the kids,” Carolyn Mootry said. “It just goes to show the students that if it happened to Ken, it could really happen to you. When he shares his life experiences with the students, I believe with Ken growing up here, it really helps get the point across to them.”

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