It turns out the St. John’s Edge have two first overall picks from National Basketball League of Canada drafts.
On Sunday, the expansion draft selected former Chicago State University forward Aaron Williams with the first pick of the 2017 NBL Canada draft. Now, the team has announced it has signed 29-year-old point guard and Toronto native Alex “Superman” Johnson, who was the first overall pick by the Ottawa Skyhawks in the 2013 draft.
Johnson was traded to the Mississauga Power before the start of that season, and went on to become a league all-star.
In all, he has appeared in 175 league games for Mississauga, Saint John, Halifax and Orangeville. Last season, he averaged more than 10 points and 6.5 assists in 32 games with the Orangeville A’s. The 5-10, 215-pound Johnson also got into 10 games with the Grand Rapids Drive of the G League, the NBA’s top developmental circuit, in 2016-17.
Even though Edge head coach Jeff Dunlap is new to NBL Canada, he is more than familiar with Johnson, who spent five years (one as a redshirt) at NCAA Division 1 schools. He appeared in 88 games, 65 as a starter, for Cal State Bakersfield, but in 2011, transferred to North Carolina State, where Dunlap was an assistant coach.
Johnson was one of two Canadian guards the Edge announced as being signed Friday as the team continued to prepare for its training camp, which begins Monday in St. Johns.
The team is also bringing in 23-year-old Jordan Jensen-Whyte, who played five seasons with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and was a second-team all-Canadian in 2015-16. Last season, the 6-5, 196-pound native of Calgary averaged 15 points and 4.5 rebounds per game with the UBC Thunderbirds.
With Johnson and Jensen-Whyte on board, the Edge have six Canadians on the roster. The others are Newfoundlander and former Memorial Sea-Hawk Noel Moffatt, Kenneth Otieno from the University of Alberta, forward Adednego Lufile out of Arkansas Tech and power forward Rudolphe Joly, who is in Vietnam finishing out his second season in that country’s professional league.
NBL Canada teams need to have five Canadians on their rosters.