The Will Johnston Story: Part 1

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Will Johnston
Will Johnston

This past Monday, Will Johnston was kind enough to sit down with me for a little over an hour to talk about his career and his future. His basketball career ended a little more than two months ago with an ACC Tournament loss to Miami. In 88 games, the former walk-on scored 218 points and played 1,206 minutes. 172 of his 192 career shot attempts were three-pointers. You all probably remember him as that guy who always played hard and who made a lot of three-pointers.

What you don’t realize is that Will has a very interesting story. Of all the basketball players to enroll in 2011, he was the only one to play all four years at Tech. Dorian Finney-Smith, Robert Brown, Marquis Rankin, CJ Barksdale and Joey van Zegeren did not finish their careers in Blacksburg. Christian Beyer did not join the team until 2012. Will also played for three different head coaches in four years. There aren’t very many guys who can say that.

Unfortunately for Johnston, his time at Virginia Tech did not go hand in hand with success on the court. The Hokies finished in last place in the ACC all four of his seasons.

“I’m probably the losingest player in college basketball history,” he joked.

Nevertheless, the losing was never for any lack of effort or determination on his part. He knew his role, and he generally played it well. His toughness quickly made him a favorite of Buzz Williams.

Everybody has a story, and I think Will Johnston’s is particularly entertaining. Once you finish this series, I think you’ll agree.

A Unique Path

When the fall semester began in 2011, Will Johnston was just a regular

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