Encouragement was key in the lives of Johnson and Ratleff. That's why they are on board with 3B Athletica, which was started up by Lindsay Buckley, a Corona del Mar High alum.
The athletes who are part of 3B Athletica mentor and work with young athletes, many who live in Los Angeles.
Lindsay came up with the idea after becoming friends with Olympic swimmer Kate Ziegler. After finishing up at USC in 2010, Lindsay moved back home, where Ziegler also stayed. The Buckleys became a host family for Ziegler, as she prepared for this summer's Olympics in London.
"Kate showed me the need for assistance for Olympic athletes," said Lindsay, who saw Ziegler stay at the Buckleys rent free and gain grocery vouchers from other supporters to maintain training without too much worry of finances.
Lindsay has seen 3B Athletica come together with the help of her parents, as well as Johnson and Ratleff.
Johnson and Ratleff weren't paid to speak to the group. They actually provided valuable stories of their lives.
Johnson shared the story about the assassination ofRobert F. Kennedyafter Tim Buckley asked about it. After Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy, Johnson and Rosey Grier apprehended Sirhan.
Johnson said it was reaction to go after the gun when Kennedy was shot.
"I got my hand on the gun along with Rosey Grier's hand," Johnson said. "We all went down together. I took the gun and put it in my pocket."
Ratleff shared his love for basketball and also talked about the 1972 Olympic men's basketball team that protested receiving the silver medal after its controversial one-point loss to the Soviet Union.
"Maybe I can get a medal from Rafer," Ratleff joked.
After the Olympics, Lindsay said 3B Athletica will have a formal banquet to raise more money. More information can be found at http://www.3BAthletica.org.