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Neil Johnston
Position(s) Center
Jersey #(s) 6
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 210 lb (95 kg)
Born February 4, 1929(1929-02-04)
Chillicothe, Ohio
Died September 28, 1978 (aged 49)
Career information
Year(s) 1951–1959
College Ohio State
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     10,023
Rebounds     5,856
Assists     1,269
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
  • Philadelphia Warriors (1959-1961)

Donald Neil Johnston (February 4, 1929, Chillicothe, Ohio – September 28, 1978, Irving, TX) was an American Hall of Fame basketball player at the center position who played 8 years in the NBA from 1951 to 1959.

He led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons: 1952-53, 1953-54, and 1954-55. During the 1954-55 season, he also won the league's rebounding title. Johnston played his entire career with the Philadelphia Warriors, playing on their championship team in 1956. He played in six NBA All-Star Games, was an All-NBA First Team selection four times, and was an All-NBA Second Team selection once.

During his career, the 6 foot 8 inch Johnston was well known for his right-handed hook shot, which contributed to his leading the league in field goal shooting three times. Johnston was forced to retire after a serious knee injury in the 1958-59 season.

After his playing career, he coached the Warriors to a 95-59 winning record for the first two seasons of Wilt Chamberlain's NBA career.

He attended the Ohio State University, where he starred in baseball and basketball. Johnston signed a professional baseball contract with the Philadelphia Phillies out of college and pitched two and a half years for the Terre Haute Phillies of the Three-I League. With a 3-9 record halfway through his third losing season in 1951, Johnston decided to give pro basketball a try. With his manager, Jim Ward's assistance, he tried out for the Warriors at the team camp in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990, 31 years after his retirement.

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Alex Sachare, 100 Greatest Basketball Players of all Time (1997) ISBN 0-671-01168-5
Preceded by
Al Cervi
Philadelphia Warriors head coach
Succeeded by
Frank McGuire


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