Back-to-back Northeast Conference crowns have given the Blackbirds a presence in each of the past two NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments.
Now, they’ll have a presence in the 2012 Olympics.
Former starting guard Kyle Johnson, a senior on the 2011 NEC Tournament title team, was one of 12 men to find his name of Great Britain’s Olympic roster, which was unveiled July 5, twenty-two days before the Games begin in London.
Johnson, a 6-foot-5 guard, appeared in more games (124) than any Blackbird ever during his LIU career. His 1,433 career points are 11th on the NEC school’s all-time scoring list.
Johnson will join a British roster that features former Duke star, and current Chicago Bull, Luol Deng. NBAer Ben Gordon is not on the Olympic squad.
The Olympic appearance will be an historic one for the British National Team. Johnson is a member of only the second-ever team to qualify for the Games in the nation’s history.
Great Britain, which enjoys an automatic qualifier into the Olympic men’s hoops competition as host nation of the Games, last competed on the Olympic hardwood in 1948.
Here’s the 12-man GB Roster courtesy of GBbasketball.com
The selected athletes are (name; age; born; home nation; current club):
Kieron Achara (29; Stirling; Scotland; Manresa, Spain)
Robert Archibald (32; Paisley; Scotland; Zaragoza, Spain)
Eric Boateng (26; London; England; Peristeri, Greece)
Dan Clark (23; Greenwich; England; Estudiantes, Spain)
Luol Deng (27; Wau, Sudan; England; Chicago Bulls, USA)
Joel Freeland (25; Aldershot; England; Unicaja Malaga, Spain)
Kyle Johnson (23; Toronto, Canada; England; APOEL, Cyprus)
Andrew Lawrence (22; Surrey; England; College of Charleston, USA)
Mike Lenzly (31; Oxford; England; Nymburk, Czech Republic)
Pops Mensah-Bonsu (28; Tottenham; England; Besiktas, Turkey)
Nate Reinking (38; Ohio, USA; England; Sheffield Sharks)
Andrew Sullivan (32; Euston; England; Leicester Riders)
Sights & Sounds from Johnson’s last appearance in Brooklyn – 2011 NEC Championship Game
(Fast Forward to 7:20 mark and watch Johnson cut down the net)