KNOXVILLE – The Men’s Royals basketball team became NCCAA Dll National Champs last weekend, making this Johnson’s first ever national championship in athletic department history.
The Royals faced off against Arlington Baptist University, the final score being 95-74. Senior Coby Jones and Sophomore Miles Long had a combined total of 52 points in the championship game.
Coby Jones averaged over 30 points in the tournament. He is also now third in the all-time leading scorers for Johnson, with 2,135 points.
Brandon Perry, the Men’s Royals Basketball Coach, recognizes that this win was a team effort that has taken time and hard work to build.
“This is not just a this year national title, this is something that’s been building and will hopefully last,” Perry said. “It was not just me or the players; it was all of us, and our entire brotherhood.”
The Royals had some setbacks in this year’s season due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop them. It was a long and hard journey, but it paid off as Johnson won its first ever national championship.
“It’s hard… especially first semester we lost 9 games,” Perry said. “We played a team who had COVID – that put us out for two weeks. The momentum continued to go down as we lost more games after Thanksgiving break. But our guys took it a game at a time and saw every game we got to play as a blessing. We focused on that and started to become more strict on ourselves, because we knew we were good enough to make it to the end.”
The Royals have a young and promising team. Perry hopes that this isn’t the end, but rather the beginning of something new and exciting for Johnson University.
“This is something not just for us, but it also puts Johnson on the map,” Perry said. “So we’re trying our best to promote [Johnson], and we hope that will help our entire sports department get recognition in Knoxville.”
The men’s Royals basketball team looks forward to continuing their success in the next upcoming basketball season.