Former Cal State star makes splash in NBA

From the day Ivan Johnson first arrived on the campus of Cal State San Bernardino he talked about playing in the NBA, enough so that it drove Coyotes coach Jeff Oliver crazy.
Now Johnson has achieved a lifelong dream.  The 6-foot-8 forward was a factor in the Hawks’ 116-109 triple overtime loss to Miami on Thursday night, Johnson scored a season-high 13 points in 21 minutes in just his third game in the league and earned praise from TNT broadcasters Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller.

In Johnson’s only season with the Coyotes (2006-07), the San Antonio native was the team’s top scorer (15.5 ppg.) and rebounder (4.7 rpg.) and helped CSUSB to a 26-6 overall record and a school-best NCAA semifinalist finish at the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass.  He earned first-team All-CCAA honors and was an NCAA West Regional All-Tournament member and an NABC All-West Region selection.

Since Johnson finished his collegiate career, he has played professionally in China, Puerto Rico and South Korea and has had several stints in the NBA Development league, more commonly known as the D-League.

Johnson was a D-League All-League performer for the Erie BayHawks last season. Appearing in 49 games with 42 starts, he averaged 22.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and finished third in the league in scoring.

The Hawks play at Charlotte tonight and play host to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

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