- Keldon Johnson
- Guard, Forward
- Hometown (Last School)
- South Hill, VA (Oak Hill Academy)
- October 11, 1999
Keldon Johnson was born Keldon Wilder Johnson on October 11, 1999 in Chesterfield, Virginia to Rochelle and Chris Johnson. He has three siblings, Kaleb, Kyle and Kristyn. His brother Kaleb played basketball at Georgetown University. Keldon was a member of the National Honor Society and his favorite activity away from the court is fishing. He lists a true hero and the person who has influenced him the most as his father.
Keldon Johnson is a “yes, sir, no, sir” young man, and his game is equally old-school, a blend of considerable talent and nonstop effort. After spending his junior season at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, Johnson transferred to Oak Hill Academy (Va.) for his final year of high school where he averaged 22.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Johnson was a dynamic scorer who rebounded well for his position and played with great energy and athleticism on the defensive end. The 6-5 Johnson was regarded as one of the nation’s top 10 players in the 2018 recruiting class. He was tabbed the 2018 Virginia Gatorade High School Player of the Year and was selected to both the McDonald’s All-American Game and the Jordan Brand Classic Game. Johnson led his Boo Williams (Va.) AAU team to the semifinals of the Peach Jam after averaging 20.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during the Nike regular season. He took home MVP honors at the NBPA Top 100 Camp prior to his junior season.
In July of 2017, despite his success in the summer Nike circuit, Johnson was still waiting on an offer from Kentucky. He said he would love a scholarship offer from Coach John Calipari and the Wildcats. He also understood such offers are a rarity, and he didn’t plan on throwing out any ultimatums on when UK would have to make that move to remain a serious player in his recruitment. “I don’t want to say they have a time period,” Johnson said. “Whenever it happens, it happens. I’m not going to give them a time period that they have to offer me, because, I mean, it’s Kentucky.” Calipari did finally extend an offer in the fall of 2017 and Johnson committed to play for Kentucky on November 11, 2017. He chose Kentucky over Maryland, North Carolina State, Texas, UCLA, and Kansas. He joined Immanuel Quickley as the second addition to the Wildcats’ recruiting class of 2018. Tyler Herro, Ashton Hagans, and EJ Montgomery also joined that class.
As a freshman at Kentucky, Johnson started 36 of 37 games played and totaled 498 points, 217 rebounds, 60 assists, 28 steals and six blocks. He was ranked third on the team in scoring (13.5 points per game) and rebounding (5.9) and second with 45 made 3-pointers. Johnson scored in double figures in 26 games, including seven games with 20 or more and led the team in scoring in nine games. He had four double-doubles, second on the team and led the team in rebounding in seven games and steals in nine outings. He had three or more assists nine times and three or more steals four times. UK was 6-0 when he made three or more 3-pointers. Johnson averaged 14.6 points and 5.7 boards while shooting 48.9 percent in UK’s 12 games against Associated Press Top 25 opponents. Against No. 4/3 Duke on November 6, 2018, Johnson had 23 points, four rebounds, a block and a steal in his debut. The 23 points were the fifth most in a debut in program history. On November 14, 2018, Johnson recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs. North Dakota. On November 23, 2018, he scored a career-high 27 points to go along with seven rebounds against Tennessee State. He also made a career-high 13 free throws in that game. “It felt pretty good, but the main thing, we got the win,” Johnson said. “I was playing aggressively and just kept attacking (the basket) and it eventually it opened up.” Kentucky coach John Calipari was pleased to see the freshman guard produce and finish underneath. “He was seeing gaps and he was seeing opportunities to go at the basket and was strong at the rim and did a pretty good job,” Calipari said. On December 1, 2018, Johnson notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a victory against UNC Greensboro. On December 8, 2018, Johnson swished a half-court shot at the end of regulation to force overtime against Seton Hall. The clock showed 1.1 seconds but officials made it 1.5 seconds after a replay review. That made all the difference for Kentucky when PJ Washington inbounded from the baseline and threw a long pass to an open Johnson near center court, even though the play wasn’t designed for him to receive the ball. Johnson took a dribble, turned over his left shoulder and hurled a right-handed shot that went in as the horn sounded, tying it at 70-70. “I knew if I got the shot off that I had a pretty good chance to make it,” he said. “It was a big shot. I mean, it was pretty big. I guess it just hurt because we lost.” In one of the most exciting finishes of the college basketball season, Johnson had a chance to win it for the Wildcats, but his 3-point try with a second remaining was blocked by Seton Hall’s Quincy McKnight. On December 15, 2018, Johnson scored 24 points with a career-high six 3-pointers against Utah. “I’m not afraid to take a big shot or step up in big moments,” said Johnson. “I’m shooting with confidence. That’s the main thing — my teammates have been just telling me to keep shooting. After I hit the first one, I knew it was going to be a good day.” On December 22, 2018, Johnson posted 21 points, three steals and three assists in a win over No. 9/10 North Carolina. He made 7 of 11 shots against UNC, including four 3-pointers. Johnson scored 16 in the second half, helping Kentucky hold off North Carolina in their first meeting since the 2017 NCAA South Regional final. On January 19, 2019, he scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting with two 3-pointers in win a win at No. 14/12 Auburn. On January 26, 2019, Johnson posted 15 points and 10 rebounds in a win against No. 9/10 Kansas, including making three 3-pointers after halftime. On February 16, 2019, Johnson had 19 points and four rebounds in an upset of No. 1/1 Tennessee, which ended their 19-game win streak. On February 23, 2019, Johnson snared a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with eight points and a career-high five assists in a home win over Auburn. The 17 rebounds were the most under John Calipari in an SEC game. On March 5, 2019, he charted 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a road win at Ole Miss. In the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Johnson made 10 of 16 shots vs. Abilene Christian, including three 3-pointers, to finish with 25 points in his NCAA Tournament debut. On March 31, 2019, Johnson Had 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three assists in the season finale. Johnson put together a decorated freshman campaign. He was a 2018-19 SEC Academic Honor Roll member and was tabbed the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches. He was also an All-SEC Second Team and All-Freshman Team selection. He made the Basketball Times All-Freshman First Team and was a three-time SEC Freshman of the Week pick. Johnson made the John R. Wooden Award midseason watch list.
On April 10, 2019, Johnson announced that he would enter the NBA Draft and hired an agent. He was drafted 29th overall in the 1st Round of the 2019 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
Johnson made his NBA debut on November 22, 2019, playing two minutes in a 115–104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. On August 11, 2020, Johnson scored a season-high 24 points in a 123–105 win over the Houston Rockets with eleven rebounds and three assists. On January 1, 2021, Johnson scored a career-high 26 points in a 103–109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers with ten rebounds, two steals, an assist, and a block.
On July 18, 2022, Johnson signed a four-year, $80 million rookie scale contract extension with the Spurs.
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Career Game Log