Former WPIAL basketball star Donovan ‘Puff’ Johnson commits to North Carolina

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019 | 9:26 PM


Former WPIAL basketball star Donovan “Puff” Johnson committed Tuesday night to North Carolina, choosing a school where older brother Cameron played.

The 6-foot-7 standout watched closely as his brother became a Tar Heels star over the past two seasons, and that familiarity ultimately led him to Chapel Hill.

“He enjoyed the family atmosphere and the familiarity with the players and the system,” his father Gil said. “He fits well with what they’re doing. He follows the mold of Cam, Justin Jackson, Danny Green and that kind of player.”

Johnson was the 2018-19 TribLive HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 22.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per game for Moon, which went 28-2 and won the state Class 5A title. He transferred in August to Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix, Ariz., for his senior year.

Johnson also considered a scholarship offer Arizona coach Sean Miller, who played college basketball with Gil at Pitt. Pitt also was an option, but Johnson instead chose North Carolina, where his brother developed into a lottery pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

He took an official visit to Chapel Hill over the weekend.

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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