Neil Johnson

Center, Basketball Player

1943 –


Who is Neil Johnson?

Neil A. Johnson is a retired American basketball player.

A 6'7" forward/center from Creighton University, Johnson played four seasons in the National Basketball Association as a member of the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns, then spent three seasons in the American Basketball Association with the Virginia Squires. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in his professional career and appeared in the 1971 ABA All-Star Game.

Known as an "enforcer", Johnson is remembered in the ABA oral history book Loose Balls for punching Warren Jabali in a game between the Virginia Squires and Denver Rockets. Referee John Vanak called the punch "the most devasating punch [he'd] ever seen on the court". According to Vanak, Jabali was one of the most physical players in the ABA, and had been shoving Johnson and his teammates throughout the game until Johnson retaliated. Dave Twardzik of the Squires recalled, "It scared the hell out of me, but the guys on my team were loving it because the whole league hated Jabali."

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Apr 17, 1943
  • Creighton University
Lived in
  • Jackson

on July 23, 2013


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