« Men’s Basketball 2017-18

Justin Johnson

Western Kentucky University
Sport Management


Justin Johnson graduated in just three years with a bachelor’s degree in sport management. He’s now pursuing his master’s degree in intercollegiate athletic administration and hopes to one day work on his doctorate. He’s been named multiple times to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll for student-athletes with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better.


Johnson has been a steady leader for the WKU program through years of coaching and roster turnover. He is one of just two active players returning from last year and is the team’s only four-year player. Although WKU hasn’t designated captains in recent years, he’s been a consistent leader for the last three seasons. He has also worked tirelessly this offseason to return from both knee surgery and deliberate weight gain, both of which were attributed to his time spent with the football team. Johnson has often worked out four times a day this offseason to shed the weight he gained purposefully for football and to rehab his knee back into playing shape.


Johnson has been a staple of the community since he arrived at WKU. He’s taken multiple mission trips to Belize and China, where he’s spent time with underprivileged children in addition to playing games. He did the same this August in Costa Rica, where he played with children at a local orphanage during WKU’s foreign tour. Johnson has also volunteered to work with senior citizens at Bowling Green Retirement Village, spoken at youth basketball games during the playing season, visited with special needs children from the city’s Camp Happy Days in previous years and volunteered several times for the United Way Day of Caring, including time with the area Boys & Girls Club.


Johnson averaged 14.5 points and 9.4 rebounds as a junior in 2016-17, becoming the first Hilltopper to lead the program in both categories in back-to-back years since 2000-02. He also led Conference USA in rebounding and double-doubles (14) – ranking in the top 40 nationally in both – and he was one of 17 players in the country to average at least 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists last season. Johnson shot 52.3 percent from the field as a junior and made 26 3-pointers after netting just one in his first two years combined. He was named an All-C-USA Second Team selection last season and is on the all-conference preseason team this year. The 6-foot-7 Johnson also showed off his natural athleticism this year by spending spring practice, summer workouts and the beginning of fall camp with the football team as a tight end before returning to basketball in August.