David Johnson, a sophomore guard for the University of Louisville last season, has been selected in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors with the 47th pick overall.
A 6-5 Louisville native, Johnson was the only player in the ACC to rank among the top 25 in both rebounding and assists in 2020-21, averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 assists (15th in the ACC) and 5.8 rebounds (21st). The 2021 All-ACC honorable mention selection scored 17 or more points in seven games, reaching double figures on 12 occasions as a sophomore (18 career).
A total of 77 former Louisville players have been selected in the NBA Draft, including 10 in the last nine years. UofL is one of just 10 schools in the nation with 70+ draft picks. In addition to Johnson, those recent picks include Jordan Nwora (2020, 2nd round, 45th overall selection, Milwaukee Bucks), Ray Spalding (2018, 2nd round, 56th overall, Philadelphia 76ers), Donovan Mitchell (2017, 1st round, 13th overall, Denver Nuggets), Chinanu Onuaku (2016, 2nd round, 37th overall, Houston Rockets), Terry Rozier (2015, 1st round, 16th, Boston Celtics), Montrezl Harrell (2015, 2nd, 32nd, Houston Rockets), Russ Smith (2014, 2nd, 47th, Philadelphia 76ers), Gorgui Dieng (2013, 1st, 21st, Utah Jazz) and Peyton Siva (2013, 2nd, 56th, Detroit Pistons).
In addition, four recent Cardinals reached the NBA as undrafted free agents over the last five years, including Deng Adel (Cleveland Cavaliers, 2018), Jaylen Johnson (Chicago Bulls, 2018), Mangok Mathiang (Charlotte Hornets, 2017) and Damion Lee (Atlanta Hawks/Golden State Warriors, 2017).
Louisville has produced 25 first-round NBA Draft choices, including 12 in the top ten and six among the top three picks (Pervis Ellison first in 1989; Wes Unseld second in 1968; Darrell Griffith second in 1980; Charlie Tyra second in 1957; Rodney McCray third in 1983; George Hauptfuhrer third in 1948).
Honored on the 2021 All-ACC Academic team, Johnson scored a career-high 24 points against Georgia Tech while grabbing 10 rebounds in one of his three double-doubles of the season. He set career highs in three-pointers made (6) and attempted (11), making one more three-pointer in the game than he hit during the entire 2019-20 season (5-of-23).
Johnson nearly doubled his scoring and rebounding averages from a year ago. In his 19 games, Johnson had more than six times his three-point production from a year ago, burying a team-high 32-of-83 threes in his sophomore season (.386).
Johnson was honored as co-MVP with Carlik Jones in the Cardinals’ victory over Kentucky by the Bluegrass Sports Commission when he totaled 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists against the Wildcats while connecting on 3-of-4 three-pointers and playing the entire 40 minutes. He was named ACC Player of the Week for games Dec. 21-27 and earned recognition on the 2020 Wade Houston Tipoff Classic All-Tournament team.
Johnson helped Louisville achieve a 13-7 record in a pandemic-shortened season as the Cardinals finished seventh in the ACC with one of the least experienced teams in the nation.