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Gary (Cat) Johnson was an electrifying point guard who directed Memorial High School to two state championships in 1977 and 1978. In 1978 he led Memorial by scoring a school-record 50 points in the quarterfinals. In high school Johnson averaged 20 points per game while leading his team in assists and steals. He held the school records in scoring, assists, and steals. 

He was selected to the United States High School All-Star team. United States coach Johnny Egan honored Cat by naming him the captain. 

Johnson received a scholarship to Oral Roberts University. During the 1981-1982 season he averaged 15 points and 8 assists per game. 

The New Jersey Nets drafted Johnson in the ninth round. He eventually went to Europe and was a player coach in the professional league in England.