The 22-year-old son of Keyshawn Johnson is breaking his silence following his father’s announcement that his 25-year-old sister, Maia Hightower-Johnson passed away.
Keyshawn Johnson Jr. shared photos of some childhood memories and penned an emotional tribute to his big sister on Tuesday, March 16. His post comes one day after the former NFL great and ESPN commentator shared the heartbreaking news about Maia’s passing on social media. Jr. called Maia his “role model” and apologized for not being closer in recent months.
“Yesterday, I lost the one person in my life that is full blood. I lost my big sister Maia,” Johnson Jr. wrote on Instagram. “Maia was undoubtedly my biggest role model growing up. I wanted to be nothing but a clone of her. I always thought she was the coolest person, had the coolest clothes, listened to the best music.”
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you,” he continued. “I just wish we were as close as we used to be. I’m sorry for that and I love you so much. I will see you soon ??? #LLMHJ.”
Keyshawn Sr. revealed that Maia passed away in a series of tweets on March 15. However, he did not reveal the cause of death. “It is with incredible sadness that I have to share the news about the passing of my beautiful Daughter Maia. Maia, as my first born child, has been the joy of my, and her Mother Shikiri’s, life,” Sr. tweeted. “She came into our lives just as we were both coming of age as adults and has been a constant beloved presence for both of us. We are heartbroken and devastated by her loss. Shikiri, Maia’s siblings, our family and me appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”
Sr. attended U.S.C. and was the first-overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft. He played for the Jets for multiple seasons before a failed contract negotiation resulted in him playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played an important role in Super Bowl XXXVII. He retired in 2006 and joined the ESPN team shortly after.
We also all appreciate your support and respect for our privacy as we move forward. Thank you all, God Bless. Keyshawn Johnson, Sr.🙏🏾
— Keyshawn Johnson (@keyshawn) March 15, 2021