REMEMBER Kwan Johnson?
Basketball fans should rank Johnson among the most athletic PBA imports after his stints with Sta. Lucia and later with San Miguel.
Johnson saw action for the Beermen during the 2003 Reinforced Conference and the 2006 Fiesta Conference. But it was in his stint with the Realtors that had Filipino fans falling in love with the flamboyant import.
Johnson, a product of American Public University, first played for Sta. Lucia in 1999 after his stint in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the Albany Patroons and the Yakima Sunkings.
He teamed up with direct-hire player Rob Parker to form one of the exciting duos in the league during that time.
Fans began to troop to the arenas to see Johnson’s highlight plays as well as swag. Johnson always made sure to entertain the fans, doing a little dance every time he executed a dunk or a lay-up.
One of his memorable highlights at Sta. Lucia was when Johnson drilled a buzzer-beating triple against Shell to clinch a 85-82 win before a full house at the Philsports Arena that were mostly cheering for the Realtors.
Ronald Tubid certainly has fond memories of him, calling him one of the toughest imports he had ever guarded in his career.
“Ang naabutan ko na import na magaling ‘yung si Kwan Johnson ng San Miguel at Sta. Lucia, ‘yung sumasayaw dati,” said Tubid, who guarded Johnson in his San Miguel days, during the CPT Crossover Podcast.
Tubid, one of the best defenders in the PBA, recalled engaging in a trashtalk with Johnson. The import's mouth turned out to be as fast as his feet, he laughed.
“Grabe mag-trash talk ‘yun. Medyo matanda na ‘yun eh. Sabi ko, I’m not going to let you get the ball. Kulang na lang laplapin ko siya eh,” Tubid said.
Johnson also saw action in Israel and Argentina. He has since become a coach and trainer, but he appears to have fond memories of the Philippines.
In his YouTube channel, Johnson has a video that compiled highlights from his playing days with Sta. Lucia in 1999.
“Good times with good people. Thank you, PBA,” wrote Johnson on the YouTube video of his PBA highlights he uploaded in 2018.