QUEENS, N.Y. (Sept. 24, 2010) – Hardwood legend George Johnson became the 30th member of the St. John’s family to be inducted into the New York Basketball Hall of Fame at the New York Athletic Club’s annual event on Thursday night. New St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin, Director of Athletics Chris Monasch and Purdue Hall of Fame mentor Gene Keady joined the eight honorees and a host of New York City basketball royalty as part of the celebration.Johnson still ranks sixth on St. John’s all-time scoring list with 1,763 career points, but his claim to fame is as the greatest rebounder in school history with 1,240 career boards. Johnson played from 1974 through 1978, and along with Lloyd “Sonny” Dove, is one of two players in St. John’s history to pull down more than 1,000 rebounds, to which each added more than 1,000 career points as well.
In his freshman season, the 6-7 star averaged 10.1 points a game and led the Redmen with 285 caroms. As a sophomore, he was an honorable mention All-American, averaging 13.8 points and 10.6 rebounds. As a junior, Johnson exceeded the 1,000-point mark for his career. He averaged 17.4 points and led the team with 335 rebounds. He led the team as a senior with 19.4 points and 324 rebounds, and was the 1978 recipient of the Haggerty Award given to the NYC Metropolitan MVP.
Johnson, a first round NBA draft choice, was selected 12th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1978. He played for the Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Washington Bullets, averaging 9.1 points per game and 5.6 rebounds per game over a nine-year NBA career.
Johnson was among eight honorees in Thursday night’s Class of 2010. New York Knicks’ star Anthony Mason Sr., the late Providence College and Lakers coach Joe Mullaney, the late 5-4 Barney Sedran, who led Utica to the 1914 Pro World championship and was the smallest player ever inducted in the Naismith Hall of Fame, celebrated Garden photographer George Kalinsky, Rutgers All-American Phil Sellers, Pro Am City League legend Rab Walthour and Eastern League and Rucker League immortal Teddy Jones were all inducted as well.
Fans can be a part of the 2010-11 St. John’s hardwood campaign – the first under the direction of new head coach Lavin – by visiting St. John’s Ticket Office to order men’s basketball season tickets.
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