Lynbert "Cheese" Johnson
Lynbert “Cheese” Johnson
Born: New York City, New York Graduated: Haaren HS, 1975 / Graduated: Wichita State University, 1979
The story usually goes that you head to the Big City to find stardom.
But for Lynbert “Cheese” Johnson, the move from Harlem to the plains of Kansas was to establish himself on a bigger stage. As a high school senior, Johnson was rated among the top 15 high school basketball players in the nation. He was a legend in New York on the playground, unstoppable from 15 feet and in.
Johnson came to Wichita for the chance to compete for the hometown Shockers. He adjusted with ease to his new home, leading Wichita State to the NCAA Tournament and a Missouri Valley Conference title as a freshman in 1976. He quickly became a fan favorite and earned Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer-of-the-Year honors that year.
Silky smooth, he went on to earn first-team all-conference honors in 1977 (sophomore) and 1979 (senior), and second-team all-conference in his junior year. During his four years in Wichita, Johnson amassed 1,907 career points, landing him fifth on the Shockers’ all-time scoring list.
The New York native led Wichita State in scoring for three of his four years and led the team in rebounding twice. He averaged 17.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for his career, including 22.2 points per game as a senior.
Following his breakout senior season, Johnson was drafted in the third round by the Golden State Warriors in the 1979 NBA draft. He would play in nine games and then go on to play two years in the Continental Basketball Association.
In 2018, Johnson moved back to Wichita with a focus to give back to the community and serve as a positive mentor for local youth.
He founded UJUMP, a nonprofit mentoring program, in 2021. The non-profit aims to “develop social skills, behavior, academic achievement, self-esteem, and self-advocacy in youth, achieving these through a variety of empowerment opportunities and professional interactions.
Photo Courtesy of Wichita State University