(Photo of David Johnson: Natalie Ledonne via the Atlantic Coast Conference)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In the current landscape of competitive basketball, both at the collegiate and professional level, it is driven by star power. The game is powered the biggest names on the biggest teams, who aside from winning, want nothing more than fame, glory, or some other form of big time recognition.
Former Louisville guard David Johnson, who declared for the 2021 NBA Draft earlier this week, is not one of those players. Now that his time in college has come to an end as he embarks on his professional career, he only wishes that he Cardinals legacy was that he made an impact on the city and university.
"I just want to be remembered as a good person, a great player, just how I like to help people," he said Friday. "Just having that on my belt, David Johnson helped out the University of Louisville, or helped out the city of Louisville. That's all I'm looking for. I'm not looking for any fame, or anything huge like that."
In fact, the accomplishment that he is most proud of during his two years as a Cardinal is not one that revolves around him. A Louisville native and Trinity alum, Johnson says his first goal was to defeat arch-rival Kentucky.
"As a hometown kid, it's a huge thing to do that," he said. "To just have that pride along with the city of Louisville, just to say that I was part of one team that did it."
After falling 78-70 at Rupp Arena during his freshman year, Johnson and the Cardinals took down the Wildcats 62-59 this past season at the KFC Yum! Center. He had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Johnson added that during his time in college, he was never one to think ahead to his life past Louisville. He was always one to prefer living life in the moment, and enjoying the the process play out in real time.
"Looking back on it, it was really fun," he said.
Johnson was the Cardinals' second-leading scorer behind Carlik Jones during the 2020-21 season, averaging 12.6 points over 19 games. He also chipped in with 5.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists while shooting 41.1% from the field and 38.6% on three-point attempts, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors.
He burst onto the scene during the second half of his freshman campaign. In the final 15 games, Johnson averaged 8.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting 49.5% from the field. He had scored 37 points for his first 12 games of the season before totaling 132 in the last 14 games.
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