Gus Johnson

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

One fall day on the Akron U campus in the late 60's, a friend and I were headed for Memorial Hall. As we got closer, we spotted something quite out if the ordinary.


There was a black limousine sidled up to the back door. A limo with a gold TV antenna. Something was going on.


We headed inside, but there was no sign of anything unusual.

But then,

We heard the thud thud thud of a basketball hitting the hardwood. Then, the squeak of sneakers. We entered the gym and there he was, Gus Johnson at center court, palming the ball on his hip. We learned that Gus was coming off his 4th knee surgery and was getting back in shape. He had long scars on his knees.


For the uninitiated,

Gus was the 1st great basketball talent from Akron, along with Nate Thurmond. Before LeBron. You can look up his stellar achievements, but I will share a couple stories.


One time in a college game, Gus dunked the ball with one hand, retrieved it from the net with the other hand and came back to the ground. He handed the ball to a startled referee. Gus would snatch coins off the TOP of the backboard. He had speed, grace leaping ability, and advanced ball handling skills before they were fashionable.


Gus died of brain cancer at 48 years of age


In the autumn of Lebron's reign, let us remember the greatness of Gus Johnson.

He paved the way for others.

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