Ervin Johnson Looks to Give Back to Denver as a Mentor

This September, NBA Cares and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership are partnering to help spread the word about the positive effects of mentoring and the importance of recruiting new mentors. Former Nuggets player and current community ambassador Ervin Johnson has been traveling through the greater Denver area over the course of the past week to speak to elementary and middle school students. This morning, Johnson spoke to students at Excel Academy in Arvada, CO.

Johnson’s core message revolves around believing in yourself, working hard, making mindful decisions, having a positive attitude, setting goals for yourself, respecting yourself and others, and not letting yourself get down.

“You’re going to have good days and you’re going to have bad days but don’t quit. If you practice, you will improve. You may never be perfect, but you will always improve. Just because things are a way now, doesn’t mean they’ll be that way down the road. Don’t quit.”

81% of youth with a mentor are more likely to participate in sports and Johnson looks to drive this message home. “Don’t think you’re too small. Fight back if you blow out a knee. You know Michael Jordan? He was cut from his high school basketball team. Those kind of kids that work, overcome and become something great.”

1 in 3 American youth are without a mentor. Like Ervin Johnson, be the change one of them needs. Visit

Interested in having Ervin Johnson speak at your school? Click here.