From a very young age, former Penn State Wilkes-Barre Men's Basketball player Keith Johnson knew he was going to be a basketball player. This fall, Johnson signed with the Steel City Yellow Jackets of the American Basketball Association.
"I got my start into the world of basketball when I was born. I know that sounds crazy but somehow my mom knew I'd be a basketball player. She kept old Michael Jordan articles from when he was in college and passed them on to me when I was old enough to understand the game of basketball," explains Johnson. "I fell in love with the game probably as young as 4 when I won my first basketball trophy. After that my parents put me in every tournament or team they could put me on at the time."
Originally from the Bronx, Johnson came to Penn State Wilkes-Barre for one simple reason: Head Men's Basketball Coach Scott Miner.
"I came to Penn State Wilkes-Barre to play basketball simply because my cousin had played for Coach Miner back when he coached at LCCC. He told me that Coach Miner was one of the best basketball minds he had ever played for," states Johnson.
During his time with the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Men's Basketball team, Johnson scored over 1,000 points and was named to the USCAA All-American and PSUAC All-Conference teams.
"When I scored my 1,000th point at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, there were about 20 seconds left and I already started to cry because my senior season was going to be cut short. I had 25 points and I was determined to get the ball and score my 1,000th point despite already knowing we were going to lose the game," says Johnson. "When I got the ball I dribbled up as quickly as I could and got fouled. When I got fouled, it seemed as if everyone knew what I was about to accomplish. The crowd cheered me on and as they did, I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks. I missed the first free throw and the pressure built for me to hit the second free throw to get that 1,000th point. I did just that, that's one moment I will never forget. When I scored, I walked straight over to the bench and hugged Coach Miner. That was one of the moments I wouldn't trade for anything."
Johnson will graduate this month with a Bachelor's Degree in Administration of Justice and hopes to pursue a career in the juvenile probation field, in addition to advancing his professional basketball career.