Darry "DJ" Johnson
Basketball Superstar, Flint-style!
January 10, 2020
DJ tends to fly under the radar among the greats in Flint athletics history. There are some reasons for that. He played during an era crowded with basketball superstars like Glen Rice, Trent Tucker, Eric Turner, Mark Harris, Jeff Grayer, Marty Embry, and Roy Marble. He also played at a school that was literally great in almost everything - Flint Central. The weight of the history of the school, and big stars like Terrence Greene, Jimmy Abbott, and others diluted DJ's fame a bit. Factor in a ridiculous Detroit bias against Flint hoopsters that saw him and others lose out on the coveted Mr. Basketball Award, and the fact that he limited himself to just one sport after his junior year and you have a recipe for not getting your full due.
But make no mistake about it - Darryl Johnson was one of the best to ever do it in Flint. In truth, had he played football in a different system it's entirely likely that he would be hailed now as a an NFL superstar. He was sort of a Randy Moss/ Anthony Carter type at Wide Receiver. But instead his focus shifted exclusively to basketball. It's there that he really began to shine.
He was part of two Michigan Class A State Championships at Central, and then went on to a tremendous career at Michigan State playing with running mate Scott Skiles and for legendary Jud Heathcote. A lengthy pro career in the Venezuelan Professional leagues, and a stint in the NBA for the Cleveland Cavaliers followed.
DJ joins us for a discussion of all of that and more including his days at Garfield Elementary and Whittier Junior High, and some of the other legends Flint has been blessed with including those he competed with and against.