Anthony Johnson Death: The former Montana men’s basketball star Anthony Johnson has passed away at the age of 37.
He leaves behind his wife and former Lady Griz player, Shaunte Johnson, and three children.
Anthony Johnson had an impressive college basketball career. He played for the Grizzlies during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, leading the team in points and assists per game.
In the 2008-09 season, he was named the Big Sky Conference newcomer of the year, averaging 17.6 points per game.
His performance continued to shine in the 2009-10 season when he raised his average to 19.2 points per game.
In 2010, Johnson was not only the Big Sky tournament MVP but also earned the title of UM’s top male athlete.
He later pursued a professional basketball career in Greece and Cyprus before returning to the United States. In 2011, he signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Lakers organization and had a brief stint in the D-League.
At that point, his vision had deteriorated to the extent that he couldn’t see the rim, which was a result of a childhood injury and sarcoidosis, a hereditary disease.
Montana Basketball Star Anthony Johnson Death & Obituary
Former Montana basketball standout Anthony Johnson died Wednesday in Tacoma, Washington, at 37.
Shaunte Audrey Johnson announced his passing, who confirmed that he passed away on November 1, 2023.
She wrote on Facebook,
“We celebrated our last anniversary and his last breaths cuddled in his bed, blasting our favorite love songs. I am one of the luckiest women to have experience love at this level, for soooo long! Thank you all for your prayers! I know that our God is still good but I still feel so lost without my best friend, lover and teammate of 18 years!”
Johnson’s health had been in a critical state since he experienced a severe stroke during his daughter’s birthday celebration on October 21.
Following the incident, he was rushed to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, where medical professionals diagnosed him with a massive stroke affecting the brain stem.
Johnson and his wife, former Lady Griz basketball player Shaunte (Nance) Johnson, have three children together and another on the way.
To assist Johnson’s family during this difficult time, a GoFundMe page has been established, and as the news of his passing spread, friends and teammates expressed their heartfelt condolences on social media.
Montana director of athletics Kent Haslam wrote on X,
“I sat with my Dad for the second half of that championship game in 2010 at Weber State. We both could not believe what we were watching Anthony do! Thanks for those memories Anthony. You’re gone too soon.”
Storybook Ending To Grizzly’s Basketball Career
Anthony Johnson’s Grizzly basketball career in 2010 concluded with a remarkable story.
In the finals of the Big Sky tournament, under the coaching of former Montana coach Wayne Tinkle, the team had a dismal first half against Weber, trailing by 20 points.
Their senior leader, Johnson, had a challenging start, going just 2 for 8 from the floor.
However, Johnson’s second-half performance was nothing short of extraordinary.
He scored 34 points, including an incredible streak of 21 consecutive points, ultimately achieving a school-record total of 42 points.
This outstanding display led UM to a league title and secured them a spot in the NCAA tournament, earning Johnson the title of Big Sky tourney MVP.