Red Hawk alumnus Johnson signs with pro team in Luxembourg

Catawba Valley Community College alumni Isayah Johnson recently became the third former Red Hawk men’s basketball player to sign to compete professionally.


Isayah Johnson signs with pro team

The 6-foot-7 forward signed with the BBC Kordall Steelers — a team in the second division of Luxembourg Total League.

Johnson is extremely excited at the opportunity to professionally play the game that he loves

“My basketball journey hasn’t been easy,” Johnson said. “I have been doubted my whole life and a lot of people counted me out. Plus I had a rough childhood so I was just so relieved because I know I put a lot of work into this game. The first people I told when I signed to play professionally were my dad and brother because they been with me almost every step of the way.”

Johnson, who played for the Red Hawks from 2017-19, finished his CVCC career with 683 points scored, 373 rebounds and 55 blocks before transferring to continue his academic and athletic careers at Mars Hill.

With the Lions, the 6-foot-7 Johnson played in 17 games, averaging 9.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. 

Johnson believes CVCC was instrumental in helping him grow so that he could reach the four-year collegiate level and beyond.

“CVCC helped me reach my goal because it showed me that if you put the work in the results will show,” Johnson said. “Almost every practice that I had at CVCC was extremely tough, but it was for a reason. CVCC helped me become mentally stronger, and that’s one thing that I took with me to Mars Hill and even here in Luxembourg. Because of my time at CVCC I feel like I can push through anything on the court and in life.”

Johnson starts competition on Sept. 24, and he continues playing a 30-plus game schedule through the spring of 2023. 

He’s already made personal goals for his first professional season, including averaging a double double and helping the Steelers climb to the first division.

“I’m coming into this season with a killer mentality because I may not get another opportunity at this,” Johnson said. “My main thing is to show the world what I can do at a high level and I’m here to be around for years to come.”

Johnson is now one of three former Red Hawk men’s basketball players, including Manny Wembi and Matthew Powell, who have or are currently playing basketball professionally.

“It is exciting to see these guys be able to move on to four-year schools, but to have guys fortunate enough to play professionally is a rare bonus,” said Catawba Valley head men’s basketball coach Bryan Garmroth. “Most guys come to college basketball wanting to play professionally. As a coach, you know the odds are slim, but you certainly don’t kill that dream. One of the biggest things we constantly talk about is work ethic. We harp on it daily. These guys did not come to CVCC talented enough to play professionally, but they bought in to the work ethic. To see them carry that ethic into their four-year careers and develop into a player good enough to competeprofessionally is neat. I am very proud of all of them.”

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