Most senior citizens look forward to retiring and taking it easy but Allan Johnson, known as AJ, did not adopt that attitude when he retired; he continued to play ball, run and compete in athletic events into his seventies and he is still running.
Retirement gave this man more time to be involved in athletic competitions, to play ball and to donate many hours assisting other seniors. Allan Johnson’s athletic ability is one of the best-kept secrets in Lawrenceville; getting Allan to talk about his successful basketball career is like trying to pull teeth from a hyperventilating tiger. He is an unassuming man who never mentions his achievements which are so numerous that it would take a book to do them justice. This article names only a few of the honors that Allan Johnson has earned and to get anything about Allan’s basketball successes I had to go to copies of the Atlanta newspapers where he regularly made headline news in the sports section during the latter part of the 20th century.
Allan Johnson from Lawrenceville, Georgia was picked to be a member of the US Team that played in the 12th World Maxibasketball Championship games held in Thessaloniki, Greece from July 12 to July 21, 2013; all players were over 30 years old. Allan’s US Team won the 2013 World Basketball Championship and brought gold medals back to the US.
Allan, now in his seventies, continues to play basketball and he often competes in games held in the US and abroad.
Allan Johnson has played basketball since his teens when he hit the Brown High court as a guard and made quite an imprint there in 1957/58. He was a star player on the Brown High School team in Atlanta; he was Player of the Year in 1956 and he wore Number 44 on the North All-Stars team.
Allan’s roundball expertise earned him a scholarship to UGA where he played on the Bulldawg Basketball Team for four years and was Player of the Year in 1960/61 when he was a senior. While playing guard at Georgia his movements were said to remind one of a pinball which makes all the right stops and lights up the jackpot. When he was a junior his alert ball-handling was said to have been greatly responsible for Georgia’s seven victories during part of the season; he was a 5- 10”, 150 pound junior who poured in 237 points during the first part of the season with 27 points scored during the Louisiana State competition. Johnson received a standing ovation for scoring 29 points during the February 22 Vandy game. Johnson earned a place on the first annual All-Southeastern Conference Academic Basketball Team which required players to have a “B” average in academic work and be a member of the starting five in the SEC.
After graduating from college Allan served in the US Army where he was a member of a military team. After his honorable discharge from the army, Allan began his career as an educator and basketball coach. He taught and coached at Waycross, Grayson, Monroe and Central Gwinnett. His Monroe girls’ team won the state championship. After retiring he continued to coach teams at Central Gwinnett; he and his wife, Judy, attend most of the Central sporting events.
Now Allan competes all over the country with veteran basketball teams consisting of members who are age 30 years and older. Allan also plays with international teams and he plays to win.
While serving in the army Allan’s military basketball team competed in Greece and his team took championship honors; fifty years later in 2013 when Allan was picked to play in the 12th World Basketball Championship tournament the competition was held in Thessaloniki on the same court where he and his army team competed in 1963. A 1963 teammate played again with Allan in the 2013 games and they renewed their friendship as they rehashed their memories of the 1963 games.
A real overtime champ!