"I am honored to be inducted into the inaugural class of the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame. I am especially pleased to be accompanied into the Hall by such an esteemed group of area athletes. As Sacramentans, we share a common bond and a love for our community. To be honored, in part, for these roots is a truly special award."
High School: Sacramento
College: University of California
* NBA Career: 13 Years: ( Cleveland, Phoenix)
* 3 Time NBA All-Star (1990, 1991, 1994)
* 13,127 Career Points
* 6,711 Career Assists
One of the greatest basketball players ever to come out of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson had all the tools to be successful. He was a tremendous athlete, well educated and had a charming personality. At Sac High, he rewrote the record books in both basketball and baseball. In his senior year, Johnson led the state of California in scoring (32.5 ppg) and was named the Northern California Player of the Year.
He went to Cal and as a four year starter, Johnson ended his college career in 1987 as the school's all time leader in assists, steals, and scoring. Johnson was named to the Pac 10's All Conference First Team in his junior and senior seasons, averaging 17.2 points and 5.0 assists in his final year. He led Cal to the program's first post-season appearances in 26 seasons with NIT bids in 1986 and 1987 and was the first player in the Pac-10 Conference to post a triple-double. In 1992 Johnson became the first Golden Bear to have his jersey (No. 11) retired.
Kevin was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 7th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft. On February 28, 1988, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. In his first full season with Phoenix, Kevin grew into one of the game’s elite players. He averaged 20.4 points and 12.2 assists per game. With these numbers, Kevin joined Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas as the only players in NBA history to average 20 points and 12 assists in a season. In the summer of 1994, Kevin played with the U.S. National Team, otherwise known as Dream Team II. Kevin led the Dream Team II squad to a Gold medal in the FIBA World Championships.
While most people will remember his outstanding playing career, it is his off the court accomplishments that are most notable to the Sacramento community. In 1989, while still in the NBA, he started St. HOPE: providing afterschool programs to at-risk youth in his native Oak Park neighborhood. In 2008, he was the first native Sacramentan elected as Mayor, and has a passion to make sure “every child in every neighborhood has a high quality education”
Kevin has been honored with many humanitarian awards including George H.W. Bush’s 411th Point of Light, McCall Magazine’s “15 Greatest Men on Earth”, the NBA Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and the “Most Caring American” award by the Caring Institute.
Kevin lives in Sacramento with his wife, Michelle. He continues to be a positive role model for kids and is extremely popular in his hometown.
During his acceptance speech, Kevin told the audience about growing up in Oak Park and how sports motivated him to do his best: how sports can build confidence and determination. He told a very funny story of always wanting to make it to the White House through winning an NBA Championship, yet never did. But as the Mayor of Sacramento he was invited by President Obama. When he arrived and was going through the security check, he was immediately recognized as "KJ".
Kevin will be remember for many things in his life, but his outstanding sports career will always be a standout for the people of Sacramento. We are glad to have the fans recognize Kevin Johnson as part of the first class of the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.