Houston Rockets scout, Harrisonburg native Brent “BJ” Johnson dies in bicycle accident
Johnson died Thursday in a bicycle accident
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Brent “BJ” Johnson was a Harrisonburg native, basketball player and recruiter for the Houston Rockets.
Johnson was a big part of the Northeast Neighborhood Community in Harrisonburg.
He died in a bicycle accident Thursday.
Charles Thomas, a basketball coach and friend of BJ’s, grew up playing ball with BJ in Harrisonburg.
“He loved basketball more than life itself,” Thomas said.
Thomas remembers playing basketball with BJ and said he especially remembers BJ’s dad’s whistle.
“We’d go play basketball and we’d be up there and all of a sudden we’d hear this whistle and I mean this whistle was loud. Whenever we heard that whistle, the games were over and everyone left,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he thinks of BJ’s family as his own.
“Whenever I went home or I went to Harrisonburg, I’d always go by and see his mom. If I was only going to be there for 24 hours, I had to go see BJ’s mom because growing up, she basically took care of us,” Thomas said.
While BJ was a great player, his friends say his heart is his true legacy.
“In regard to how he way he treated people. It didn’t matter if you were black, blue, green, white, yellow. It didn’t matter if you were male or female. The way he treated people in a positive manner, if more and more folks could just do one ounce of that this place would be a much better place," Don Burgess, basketball coach at Harrisonburg High School and Northeast Neighborhood native, said.
Life long friend, Mickey Clinedinst said Brent’s name lives on with his son.
“I couldn’t give him any greater compliment then to name my son after him,” Clinedinst said. “When you can find a friend like that, you’ve found gold in life and that’s how much I think of him."
The news of his passing is not only felt in his hometown, but around the country with Tweets being shared by the Houston Rockets, Donovan Mitchell, and more.
His friends say he lives on in memories, like permanently crooked fingers from Johnson’s strong passes, and that he will be greatly missed.
“We lost a great one, and I am sadly devastated with it,” Clinedinst said.
“BJ you are missed. Still devastated and hurt, and we’re proud of what you have done for the Harrisonburg community and the Shenandoah Valley,” Burgess said.
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