Curley “Boo” Johnson (’86) will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Loras College during the College’s 180th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Johnson grew up in Peoria, Ill. and attended Peoria Central High School, where he was inducted into the Peoria High Central High School Hall of Fame in 2004. He earned All-American honors at Spoon River College in 1983 and finished seventh in the nation in shooting percentage at 65.7%. He was a member of student senate and the student represented to the college board of trustees as well. After arriving at Loras College, he became the first athlete to have his jersey number retired on Dec. 10, 1999. Johnson earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Loras in 1986.
Johnson played 18 seasons for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters from 1988-2007, appearing in 3,554 games, performing his unbelievable skill and style on all seven continents and 81 countries. He inherited the role of dribbling wizard made famous by Marques Haynes and “Curly” Neal and became known as “The World’s Greatest Dribbler”.
Johnson was a member of the team that participated in the enshrinement ceremony when the Globetrotters were inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also part of the group that visited Pope John Paul II on Nov. 29, 2000 in Rome. As a Globetrotter, Curley also has had the privilege of meeting Mother Theresa and South African President Nelson Mandela.
Since retirement from the Globetrotters, Johnson has been on the speaking circuit, sharing his stories about overcoming obstacles, leadership, respect, and applying lessons from sports to the real world. He has his own basketball academy and has trained some of the top names in the NBA.
Recently he portrayed a sports agent in the upcoming motion picture “Midrange” and was featured in the motion picture “Sweetwater”. He has been involved in many humanitarian causes such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Family Rescue, Big Brother Big Sister, The United Way, Special Olympics and Make A Wish Foundation.
Johnson currently resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. with his wife Michelle.
Visit www.loras.edu, call (563) 588-7100 or (800) 245-6727, like Loras College on Facebook or follow @lorascollege for more information.
About Loras College
Loras leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan institutions to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. Loras ranks 38th among 450 NCAA Division III athletic programs in the 2017-18 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, 11th out of the Top 100 baccalaureate colleges, according to the 2016 Washington Monthly College Rankings, 13th Best Regional College, according to Midwest U.S. News Best Colleges and is among the 200 Best-Loved Colleges in the nation, according to Forbes Magazine. Visit www.loras.edu to learn more.