BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU senior forward Justin Johnson has been named one of 30
candidates for the 2017-18 Senior CLASS Award, the organization announced Thursday.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA
Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence:
community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior
CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use
their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to a field of 10 finalists in February, and those
10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through
a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate
who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character
Johnson – a 6-foot-7 native of Hazard, Ky. – has been a standout on the court for
the Hilltoppers for four years and a strong presence in the community for just as
He ranks 22nd on WKU’s all-time scoring list with 1,308 career points and needs just
27 rebounds to tie for 10th on WKU’s all-time boards list. He currently has 829
Johnson is one of just five active NCAA players with at least 1,300 career points
and 800 rebounds. He’s tied for ninth among active NCAA players for career rebounds
and tied for 10th in career double-doubles (29).
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.
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.
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, a team captain, 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.
He also worked tirelessly in the 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 often worked out four times a day in the offseason to shed
the weight he gained purposefully for football and to rehab his knee back into
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
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.
The Senior CLASS Award winners will be announced during the 2018 NCAA Men’s Final
Four and NCAA Women’s Final Four this spring.
For more information on each of the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
WKU is the only school represented on the Football, Volleyball and Men’s Basketball
Senior CLASS Award candidate lists. Quarterback Mike White was named a candidate for
football, and volleyball setter Jessica Lucas earned Senior CLASS Award First-Team
How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper
Basketball, follow the team’s social media channels, @WKUBasketball on Twitter,
@WKUBasketball on Instagram, and WKU Basketball on Facebook.