Former North Carolina star Cameron Johnson thanked God after being selected in the first round of the NBA draft Thursday night.
Johnson was a surprising lottery pick by the Phoenix Suns, who moved down in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was taken 11th overall, higher than outlets such as Bleacher Report (17th overall), CBS Sports (21st), Sports Illustrated (22nd), The Ringer (33rd) and NBADraft.net (37th) expected him to be selected.
Thrilled with the news that he was drafted early, Johnson immediately posted a picture of himself on Instagram with the caption, “isn’t God good… Thank you @suns let’s get to work!”
It’s not the first time he has spoken about his faith.
In his Senior Night speech for the Tar Heels, Johnson said, “I just want to thank God, because the sooner you trust in His plan for you, the sooner you find peace.”
Johnson touched on it again in an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Thursday night after he was drafted.
“Man, it’s just an unbelievable feeling, an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “All glory goes to God. It’s incredible how this journey has taken me from Moon to OLSH to Pitt to North Carolina.”
Johnson was referring to the Pittsburgh suburb Moon Township, his hometown, and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, the Catholic high school he attended.
He spent the first three seasons of his college basketball career with Pitt before transferring to North Carolina.
Initially a bench player with the Panthers, Johnson had a breakout redshirt sophomore year in 2016-2017. He earned a starting role and averaged 11.9 points per game with 4.5 rebounds.
Johnson graduated in three years, according to the Pitt website.
Due to his medical redshirt his freshman year, he had two seasons of athletic eligibility left — and the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree.
He opted for Chapel Hill, and after missing 10 games due to a meniscus tear during the 2017-2018 season, he shined as a senior guard with the Tar Heels.
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) June 21, 2019
This past season, Johnson had career bests in points per game (16.9), rebounds (5.8), assists (2.4) and steals (1.2), according to Basketball-Reference.
One of the best pure shooters in the draft, he could have the opportunity to see significant playing time, even as a rookie, with the Suns.
Phoenix had the worst record in the Western Conference last season (19-63) and needs all the help it can get.
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