PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Four-year Hilltopper Justin Johnson put on a strong showing in
recent days at the 2018 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a showcase for the
nation’s top college seniors.
Johnson averaged 13.7 points, seven rebounds and 27 minutes across the three games.
In the final stats for the tournament, he tied for 19th in scoring, 12th in
rebounding and second in blocks out of 64 players.
The Hazard, Ky., native was named to the PIT All-Tournament Team. This was Johnson’s
third accolade of the kind this year after earning C-USA and NIT all-tourney teams
Johnson played in front of representatives from all 30 NBA teams and was able to
take several meetings with members of NBA front offices between the Portsmouth
“To get here and go 3-0 and actually win it, against a bunch of really good
basketball teams, that was a really good moment for me to win a championship here
with all the talent,” said Johnson on his experience. “Then to also get nominated as
an all-tournament guy. With all the talent here, that’s a big time personal
achievement for me.”
In the opening round of the PIT, Johnson scored 10 points and pulled down six boards
in 21 minutes. He also notched two assists, two blocks and a steal contributing to
the team’s 103-93 win.
On Friday evening, Johnson led the Sales Systems, LTD squad, falling just shy of a
double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds. Johnson played a team-high 29
minutes and added three assists and a block. He shot 6 of 14 from the field and 5 of
7 from the charity stripe. Johnson’s team squeezed out an 85-83 win and advanced to
the PIT Championship game.
The senior forward finished the championship game with 14 points, six rebounds, two
assists and three blocks. Johnson dished out the game-winning assist in the final
seconds to teammate Tyler Nelson for a layup to win the PIT Championship. After his
team fell behind with two seconds to play, Johnson hit Nelson in stride with a
full-court inbounds pass for the winning basket.
Johnson was the first Hilltopper to receive an invitation to Portsmouth since guard
T.J. Price in 2015. Other recent Hilltoppers to compete include A.J. Slaughter and
“Being invited to (the PIT) was an overall blessing,” said Johnson of his invitation
to and experience in the tournament. “To be at such a prestigious tournament, being
in the top 64 seniors in the country, being notified as one of them and being
invited to the camp, it was a really good moment for me to go showcase my skill
sets. … I soaked it all in and enjoyed it all because an opportunity like this is
once in a lifetime kind of thing.”