University of San Francisco has decided to retire No. 32 in honor of basketball player Oliver “Olli” Johnson, a two-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year and a 1964-65 All-American. The No. 32 jersey will no longer be worn at
USF after the ceremony before the Dons game against Santa Clara on Jan. 25 at War Memorial Gym.
Johnson, a 6-foot-7-inch power forward from Washington, D.C. played at USF from 1962-1965. He led the Dons to the conference championship and NCAA tournament appearances in all three seasons, picking up All-WCC honors each year along the way. In his final season, Johnson led all players in scoring and rebounding average during the NCAA tournament, racking up 36 points per game and 18.5 rebounds per game.
With 1,668 points and 1,323 rebounds in his career, Johnson is top-ten all-time for the Dons in both categories. After playing out his eligibility at USF, Johnson continued playing basketball professionally. He was drafted 8th overall by the Boston Celtics, but was cut from the team before making his NBA debut. He then joined the San Francisco Athletic Club in the Amateur Athletic Union and was named an AAU All-American in 1965. The following year, Johnson went abroad to play professionally in Belgium for three seasons.
Johnson will be the 10th Dons athlete to have their number retired. Here’s a quick look at what the other nine Dons did to deserve eternal ownership of their USF jersey number.
No. 4 K.C. Jones — Men’s basketball.
Jones and teammate Bill Russell led USF to NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956. The duo also helped Team U.S.A. earn a gold medal at the Melbourne Summer Olympics in ‘56. Jones won eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, the only team he played for in his nine-season NBA career.
No. 6 Bill Russell — Men’s basketball.
William Felton “Bill” Russell led the Dons to two NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, and was part of the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic Team in ‘56. He won eleven championships in his NBA career as a center for the Boston Celtics, which lasted from 1956 to 1969. He was a twelve-time All-Star and five-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
No. 7 Brittanie Budinger — Women’s volleyball.
Budinger was All-West Coast Conference First Team in 2002 and 2003. She was key in earning the Dons their first ever post-season NCAA tournament appearance and was “the most dominant player in USF history,” according to WCCsports.com.
No. 15 Mary Hile-Nepfel — Women’s basketball.
Hile-Nepfel is the all-time leading scorer and rebounder for the USF women with a career total of 2,324 points and 1,602 rebounds. She is one of few Dons to average a career double-double. She also led the Dons to a NCAC championship in 1980, and was a three-time Kodak Regional All-American and two-time finalist for the Wade Trophy, the highest award in collegiate women’s basketball.
No. 17 Mike Farmer — Men’s basketball.
The 6-foot-7-inch forward was part of the Dons’ glory years with Bill Russell and K.C. Jones. Farmer was first team all-American in 1957-58. He was taken third overall by the New York Knicks in the 1958 NBA draft and played seven seasons in the NBA. No. 19 Taggert Bozied — Baseball. Bozied was the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1999, earning a Triple Crown in season play. He had the highest slugging percentage and the second-most home runs in NCAA Division I, beating out future MLB star Jason Bay. He was first team All-American at third base and second team All-American as a designated hitter. He played in the minor leagues for 10 years.
No. 20 Phil Smith — Men’s basketball.
A non-recruited walk on who was spotted playing pickup ball on campus, Smith was all-WCC and the leading scorer for the Dons in each of his three varsity seasons. He helped USF to successful appearances in the 1972, 1973 and 1974 NCAA tournaments. Smith was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1974 and played the next nine seasons in the NBA for the Warriors, the Clippers and the SuperSonics.
No. 24 Bill Cartwright — Men’s basketball.
Cartwright, a 7-foot-1-inch center, was another Don who averaged a double-double, finishing his four-
year collegiate career with averages of 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds. He was second team All-American in 1977 and 1979, and took USF to the Sweet 16 and 1978 and 1979. After leaving USF, Cartwright was chosen third in the 1979 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks. He was traded to Chicago in 1988, and went on to win three NBA Championships as a member of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls squad before retiring in 1995. He is currently the head coach for Osaka Evessa in Japan.
No. 40 Brittany Lindhe — Women’s basketball.
Lindhe was the first four-time selection for all-WCC honors in conference history. She holds the record for most points scored by a USF woman in a road game, with 37 points against Gonzaga. She led the Dons to three WCC championships and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.