Dexter Johnson - Freshman Season, 1968-69
Dexter Johnson - Freshman Season, 1968-69

Dexter “Water” Johnson

The best basketball player you’ve never heard of.

Born in 1955 just outside of Atlanta, GA, Dexter Johnson was the first Gannon High School Basketball Player to earn the GHSA Player of the Year.  Starting at Guard as a Freshman, Johnson set the school record for points in a season (362), leading the Knights to a 17-5 record.  As a sophomore, he was the school’s first All-State selection, once again leading the team in scoring and assists.  Dexter Johnson was named All-State as a Junior, leading Gannon to a 16-8 record and reaching the quarterfinals in their first state tournament.  In his Senior season, Dexter Johnson amassed an amazing 803 points setting what at the time, was thought to be a Georgia State record and earning GHSA Class A Player of the Year honors.  He led the Knights to a 20-4 record and their first ever appearance in the State Championship game.

During his senior season at Gannon, Dexter Johnson was rumored to have received interest from NCAA programs such as NC State, Jacksonville and Western Kentucky but mysteriously, never committed to any schools and lost contact with coaches after Gannon’s loss in the Class A GHSA Championship to Calhoun County.

Johnson was best known for his outside shooting, able to consistently knock down shots from anywhere inside half court.  He was last seen on a basketball court in the late 1970s and early 1980s in Summer Playground Rec Leagues in New York City, which is where he picked up the nickname “Water”.  Dexter Water Johnson is a basketball legend who may never have received the accolades he deserved.


  • 1972 GHSA Class A Player of the Year
  • 1970-1971 Georgia All-State Selection- 1st ever All-State selection as a sophomore
  • Averaged 33 ppg in his senior season at Gannon HS – without 3-pointers!
  • Led Gannon HS to their 1st ever Georgia State Championship Finals – 1972, when they lost to Calhoun County
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