Former college and pro star John Johnson dies at 68
SAN JOSE, Calif. — John Johnson, a two-time All-Star forward with the Cleveland Cavaliers who helped the Seattle SuperSonics win the 1979 NBA title, has died. He was 68.
Johnson’s godson, John Herndon, said Friday that Johnson died Thursday at his San Jose home. The cause of death wasn’t known.
The former University of Iowa star was drafted seventh overall by Cleveland in 1970, and made All-Star appearances for the Cavaliers in 1971 and 1972.
He averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 12 seasons with Cleveland, Portland, Houston and Seattle. He averaged career highs of 17.0 points and 7.7 rebounds for Cleveland in 1971-72.
Johnson averaged a school-record 27.9 points as a senior at Iowa in 1969-70 and scored a record 49 points against Northwestern on Feb. 24, 1970. He also has the second-highest scoring game in Iowa history, finishing with 46 points against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 7, 1968.
Johnson and future Seattle teammate Fred Brown led the Ralph Miller-coached 1969-70 Hawkeyes to a 14-0 record in the Big Ten and a 20-5 overall mark.
From Milwaukee, Johnson led Messmer High School to the Wisconsin state title as a senior in 1966.