Basketball All-Star Ollie Johnson Joins the Greats

 

Ollie Johnson USF basketball star Ollie Johnson ’65 led the Dons to three conference championships.

“The best decision I ever made was coming to USF,” said Ollie Johnson ’65, as his jersey—No. 32—was retired on Jan. 25 in War Memorial Gymnasium.

“USF has always been like a family to me, and I was very fortunate to be surrounded by great teammates, coaches, and a wonderful family,” Johnson said during a halftime ceremony on center court. “USF has a great basketball tradition, and to be included among the great players who have had their numbers retired is extremely humbling.” 

Johnson joins a prestigious league of legends at USF, where only five other jerseys in Men’s Basketball history have been retired: Bill Russell, No. 6; K.C. Jones, No. 4; Mike Farmer, No. 17; Phil Smith, No. 20; and Bill Cartwright, No. 24. 

Johnson ranks second at USF for rebounds (1,323); second in field-goal percentage (.588); third in average points per game (19.9); and sixth in all-time scoring (1,668 points). He led the Dons to three consecutive conference championships and berths in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Boston Celtics chose the 6-foot-7-inch power forward as their first-round draft pick, but he never broke into the team’s lineup. Johnson left to play for the amateur San Francisco Athletic Club, and he later played professionally in Belgium for three years. 

Johnson was a USF Trustee from 2005–11.

 

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