WPIAL product Cameron Johnson picked 11th overall in NBA Draft
When the phone call came from the Phoenix Suns, Cameron Johnson lowered his head and rubbed his eyes to wipe away the tears as family and friends celebrated around him.
It was a celebratory scene at the Johnson family’s Moon Township home Thursday night when the 23-year-old sharpshooter was selected with the No. 11 overall pick in the NBA Draft.
While family members jumped up and down in the living room and friends watched the draft on a television atop a refrigerator in the garage, Johnson appeared stunned at his lottery status.
“Everything just happened so fast, from the pick being in to the phone call that I didn’t even hear it,” Johnson said. “Everybody was jumping around all excited. So we had to rewind it to watch. Even then, people were still hollering.
The 6-foot-8 forward, who starred at Moon and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart before playing at Pitt and North Carolina, became the first WPIAL product selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in more than two decades. Danny Fortson of Shaler was chosen No. 10 by Milwaukee in 1997.
“Man, it’s just an unbelievable feeling, an unbelievable feeling. All glory goes to God. It’s incredible how this journey has taken me from Moon to OLSH to Pitt to North Carolina.”
Billed as the best pure shooter in the draft, the 6-foot-8 forward was a first-team All-ACC selection as a senior for the Tar Heels. He averaged 16.9 points while shooting 45.7 percent on 3-pointers. Johnson was chosen by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who had a deal in place to trade him to the Suns.
“You work hard and, honestly, some things have to go your way but with hard work a lot can be accomplished,” Johnson said. “I always keep my head down and work, and I’m going to keep doing that. It’s kind of all I know. It’s a Pittsburgh mentality. To represent this city, I’ll do my best and do all I can to always be a Pittsburgh kid.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .