ARTICLE

Report: Former Iowa basketball star John Johnson dies

Former Hawkeye still holds several team records.

Former Iowa forward John Johnson (left) and head coach Ralph Miller in a high school gym. Johnson played for the Hawkeyes from 1968-1970 and Miller coached Iowa from 1964-1970. Johnson died Friday at the age of 68. (The Gazette)
Former Iowa forward John Johnson (left) and head coach Ralph Miller in a high school gym. Johnson played for the Hawkeyes from 1968-1970 and Miller coached Iowa from 1964-1970. Johnson died Friday at the age of 68. (The Gazette)

Former Iowa men’s basketball player John Johnson was found dead in his San Jose home of undetermined causes earlier this week, the San Jose Mercury News reported Friday. Johnson was 68 years old.

Johnson guided Iowa to a 14-0 Big Ten record and NCAA tournament berth in 1970. He totaled 699 points, sank 289 field goals and averaged 27.9 points per game, all of which remain Iowa records. Johnson holds the top two scoring days in Iowa basketball history. He scored 49 points against Northwestern on Feb. 24, 1970 and 46 points against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 7, 1968. He has four of the top five single-game marks for field goals.

Despite playing for only two seasons at Iowa, Johnson ranks 26th all-time in Iowa scoring with 1,172 points. He led Iowa in scoring and rebounding in both seasons. He received All-American designation from several outlets that season.

Johnson, a Milwaukee native, was drafted seventh overall by the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. He played for several NBA teams but was best known for his career with the Seattle SuperSonics, where he and former Iowa teammate Fred Brown led to the 1979 NBA title. Johnson averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists that season. He played 869 games in 12 NBA seasons and averaged 12.9 points and 5.5 rebounds a game. He was a two-time All-Star with Cleveland.

l Comments: (319) 339-3169; scott.dochterman@thegazette.com

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