Medical Reasons Force OU's Johnston To Give Up Basketball
May 12, 2003
University of Oklahoma sophomore Blake Johnston announced today that he is leaving the OU men's basketball team due to medical reasons.

Johnston, a 6-1, 185-pound point guard from Midland, Texas, was with the OU program for three years. He played 12 minutes in one game in the 2000-01 season and was granted a medical hardship following the year. In 2001-02, Johnston averaged 1.7 points and 1.2 assists in 7.9 minutes per game while shooting .455 from three-point range as the Sooners advanced to their first Final Four since 1988. This past season, he averaged 2.7 points and 1.6 assists in 11.4 minutes per game while shooting .408 from beyond the arc. Johnston scored a career-high 15 points and had six assists in OU's first-round NCAA Tournament victory over South Carolina State. Johnston's three OU teams combined to post an 84-19 (.816) record and won three Big 12 Tournament titles.

"Due to a combination of medical issues, I've decided it's in my best interest to stop playing competitive basketball," said Johnston. "My three years as a member of the OU basketball program have provided me with an unbelievable experience that will benefit me for the rest of my life, but, unfortunately, I've decided that I have to hang up my shoes."

Said OU head coach Kelvin Sampson, "Blake has been an integral part of our success over the past three seasons, even his first year when he redshirted. He epitomizes what a student-athlete should be. I have great respect for Blake Johnston and, even though he won't be a member of next year's OU team, he will always remain a member of the OU basketball family."

Johnston, a public relations major, will graduate in May 2004 from OU. He is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection.

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