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Johnson earns spot on Team USA at Tokyo Olympics

South Boston News
Keldon Johnson in exhibition action Sunday against Spain in international competition. / July 21, 2021
The Mecklenburg County School Board announced plans Monday to honor Mecklenburg County native Keldon Johnson, who was named this week to Team USA Basketball at the Tokyo Olympics.

Johnson attended county schools through 10th grade, becoming a standout on the basketball court for Park View early in his high school career. After transferring to Oak Hill Academy, a powerhouse prep program, Johnson was recruited by the University of Kentucky where he played after graduation from high school. At the end of his freshman season with the Wildcats, Johnson was picked by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the 2019 NBA draft.

Johnson is the cousin of Park View High School alumnae and JMU softball star Odicci Alexander.

The 6’5” swingman was originally chosen as a temporary replacement for Team USA’s exhibition games ahead of the 2021 Olympics. But the absence of several team members due to injuries and involvement with the NBA finals, combined with Johnson’s standout play for Team USA Select, made Johnson a full-fledged member of the USA Olympics roster.

Head coach of the U.S. team is Gregg Popovich, Johnson’s coach with the San Antonio Spurs.

In the game Sunday against Spain — expected to be one of Team USA’s main rivals for the gold — Johnson scored 10 points in the third quarter and 15 in the game on 7-of-9 shooting and was instrumental in Team USA’s 83-76 victory.

Team USA plays its first game in the Olympics against France Sunday, against France. With Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker still involved in the NBA finals, it is likely that Johnson will see action early on in Sunday’s game.

The School Board recognition will follow Johnson’s Olympics experience, with details to be announced later.

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