June 11, 2014
By Stephen Trembley
FRESNO, Calif. --- The journey from a productive collegiate career to the professional hardwood is taking shape for former Fresno State standout guard Tyler Johnson with an elite workout schedule and opportunities to show NBA teams his basketball and leadership skills.
Johnson worked out for the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, and he also has workouts scheduled with the Miami Heart on Saturday and the Los Angeles Lakers later this month.
"Tyler is working with an opportunity of a lifetime," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said. "Based on what he has done during his time here and after the season, he has put himself in a position to have a bright future playing professionally."
Johnson, who finished his Bulldog career this past spring as the No. 16 scorer on the program's all-time scoring list, steadily improved throughout his four-year college career in nearly every statistical category and also as a team leader.
He helped lead Fresno State back to the postseason for the first time since 2007 as one of the best all-around players in the tough Mountain West Conference - bringing a tenacious approach to each possession, a deadly stroke on mid-range shots and beyond the 3-point arc, and an aggressive, but smart rebounding presence from the backcourt.
As a senior this past season, Johnson gave the 'Dogs a veteran presence for a squad that stared adversity in the face throughout the year and finished as one of the last six teams playing in the country. Johnson kept his foot on the pedal during the College Basketball Invitational to close out the year - averaging 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a steal per game during the six postseason games. In reaching the CBI Championship Series, the Bulldogs played its longest season in school history.
The chance to play in the CBI was earned largely because of Johnson's work ethic and how that made his teammates better. Even after his freshman season included a coaching change from Steve Cleveland to Rodney Terry, Johnson remained focused on doing whatever he could to help the team win games and that started with his personal development.
While at Fresno State, Johnson made it a point to be the first in the gym and last to leave - especially under the guidance of Terry and his staff for the past three years. The culture of accountability and relentless preparation for execution at the highest level brought out the best in Johnson.
Over the last few months, he has used that same mentality as he played in the Portsmouth Invitational and helped lead his team of college seniors to a title. Johnson has also spent a considerable amount of time working out in Florida with a trainer and already has an opportunity to play overseas, but he wants to first show the NBA why he is ready to play at that level.
Whether it is a chance to play in the NBA Summer League or earn more opportunities to meet with NBA teams, Johnson is excited about playing professionally and knows what he learned at Fresno State will be an important source of knowledge throughout his career.
"Catch The Wave!" -- The flagship radio stations for Fresno State men's basketball are 940 AM ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes 1600 AM.
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