Ex-Piston Vinnie Johnson earns NJCAA Hall of Fame nod

The Detroit News

Long before he was the Pistons' "Microwave," Vinnie Johnson was heating up in Waco, Texas, where he was starring first at McLennan Community College, and later Baylor.

He not only starred at McLennan. He was one of the best to play junior college basketball.

Johnson, who starred at McLennan from 1975-77, on Thursday was announced as one of three inductees into the National Junior College Athletic Association Men's Basketball Hall of Fame. He's joined by South Plains (Texas) College coach Steve Green and former Northeast Mississippi Community College coach Audie "Bonner" Arnold.

While at McLennan, Johnson was a first-team NJCAA All-America selection during the 1976-77 season, a year after earned honorable mention All-America honors as a freshman. At Baylor, he holds the record for career scoring average (24.1 points) and was a second-team All-America pick in 1979.

Johnson, of course, made a name for himself in the NBA as well, helping the Pistons win a pair of NBA titles (1989, 1990) in his 10 seasons in Detroit (1982-91), where he was a potent scorer off the bench (12.7 points per game). Johnson's No. 15 hangs in the rafters at The Palace of Auburn Hills.