Paul Valencia: Even in death, Adonis strengthens brother, rapper

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



Adonis Johnson and his mother Stacie Clark.

Adonis Johnson could have been, should have been, another fantastic multi-sport athlete from Heritage High School.

He had the mind, the heart, the soul. He grew up dreaming of football, basketball, baseball and wrestling, too.

Only, his body betrayed him.

Adonis Johnson was 14 when he died earlier this month after a long battle with cancer.

Just his body, though.

His spirit lives.

Johnson was the younger brother of Ashton Clark, a Heritage graduate and standout football player for Eastern Washington University. Clark, who just signed with an agent, is hoping to start his professional football career soon after he graduates with his degree from EWU this spring.

Johnson also is an inspiration to a young hip-hop artist from Southwest Washington with ties to Clark.

Danitrius Worthy, who goes by D. Worthy, went to Heritage and Evergreen high schools. He played a little football, but his main sport was basketball.

Worthy and Clark met at Heritage. Not great friends at the time, but friendly, they both ended up at Eastern Washington.

Clark blew up into a fantastic receiver for one of the best small college teams in the country.

Worthy is trying to blow up with his music. Already having performed before thousands of fans at college campuses, Worthy hopes this is just the beginning of something huge.

As he rises in his industry, he wants to make sure all dreamers from Southwest Washington are represented in his music.

He also wants everyone to be inspired by those who could not chase their long-term dreams yet still inspire those around them.

He dedicated a song, “Good Person” to Adonis.

“See strength in your brother

You see the strength in your mother

You inspire to be the reason they retire.

I just wanna stay strong like Adonis

Get my momma a bonus

And still work hard like I’m homeless

Dream big

Baby what you got to lose?

Went to school with Ashton

Now he ballin on the news

You can make it from the Couve

We ain’t got time to lose

Prayer and persistence

I learned that from ad

Man Anything is possible

Look how the music saved me”

The song, and more importantly, the gesture, moved Adonis’ family.

“The whole idea that Adonis inspired someone to create something like that, it brought me to tears,” said Adonis’ mother, Stacie Clark.

Family members are getting stronger as they mourn because so many friends have told them what Adonis meant to them.

“He inspired and brought a lot of people together,” Stacie said.

Ashton Clark said he was shocked when D. Worthy told him about the song.

“He didn’t hesitate to take time from his life to make something for me, my family, and Adonis,” Clark said. “It was so exciting and thoughtful. I couldn’t wait to hear it. It was very emotional the first time I heard it.”

D. Worthy said the song is about trying to be a good person in every avenue, and respecting all young people who are chasing their dreams.

“Tomorrow isn’t promised. Do what you love, and love what you do,” Worthy wrote on the Web page with his song.

Clark and Worthy share common dreams, both trying to make it into a very select group.

“Not a lot of people are as dedicated as he is,” Clark said of Worthy. “But we’re kind of the same people, trying to do the same things. I’m trying to make it in football. He’s trying to make it in music. We’re grinding it out from the same area.”

As a former athlete, D. Worthy supports all who have competed in the Greater St. Helens League.

“Once you play in the GSHL, everyone is your family,” D. Worthy said.

Southwest Washington lost a young member of that family a few weeks ago.

But that family remains strong, and inspired.

Note: To listen to the song, go to Or go to search for D. Worthy Good Person on Youtube.

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