“The most blue-collar guy:” Basketball’s Johnson takes advantage of opportunity against Mizzou


David Gray / CW

Alabama guard Britton Johnson (21) shares a moment of excitement with guard Jusaun Holt (1), forward James Rojas (33) and guard Jahvon Quinerly during Saturday’s win over the Missouri Tigers.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

It’s not every day a walk-on gets to step on the court in a huge SEC game, but that’s what happened to Alabama guard Britton Johnson Saturday night against the Missouri Tigers. 

The Mountain Brook, Alabama, product has played in three other games this season. But none of those was bigger than Saturday’s game against Missouri. The Crimson Tide were down 14-3 and needed a spark. 

That’s when Alabama head coach Nate Oats subbed Johnson into the game. 

“Obviously in a way, it was less than ideal because we were in a hole,” Johnson said. “I wanted to be up at that point. It was really, really cool that I have a coach that trusts in me enough to come in and try to help the team.” 

Fans inside Coleman Coliseum erupted when Johnson took the court. The fans got even louder when Johnson snagged an offensive rebound with just over 16 minutes in the first half. But energy reached a fever pitch inside Coleman Coliseum when he made a layup just 14 seconds later. 

“Britton Johnson is in the game AND HE SCORED,” Alabama alumna and sports reporter for WYMT Jayde Saylor said on Twitter

Johnson spent just under three minutes on the court during Alabama’s 86-76 win over the Missouri Tigers. That’s the second highest amount of playing time he’s had in his Alabama career. Johnson played for four minutes against LSU on Jan. 19, 2021. 

He only snagged a rebound during that contest. 

Johnson didn’t have the prettiest stat line — just 2 points and 3 rebounds — but people were impressed by the hustle he showed. During Johnson’s brief time on the court, Alabama seemed to play with more energy and spirit. 

His teammates praised his effort after the game. 

“He’s the most blue-collar guy we have, especially in practice, so you know when he’s called, he’s going to go out there and do what he’s supposed to do,” guard Jaden Shackelford said. 

While his appearance on the court was unexpected to most, Johnson knew that an opportunity like this was coming. 

“Probably a week and a half ago, coach and I met [and] talked a little bit,” Johnson said. “My thing was, What can I do to help this team be the best version of itself?” 

“BJ showed everybody there’s another level to how hard we need to play,” Oats said. 

Johnson may not see much, if any, time on the court when the Crimson Tide travel to Athens, Georgia, to take on the Georgia Bulldogs, but his effort during Saturday’s win will definitely be remembered.