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Willard Johnson

Athlete Bio

Willard Johnson of the U.S. Men's National Beach Handball Team in action




Aug 18, 1986


Everett, WA


Kamiak High School Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Son of Willard Johnson, a retired commercial and Navy pilot, and Kathleen Johnson, a professor of School Nursing…Brother of Lauren, an animal rights activist, and Sarah, a lawyer…Helping lead his high school to its first conference championship in school history…Played basketball at MIT and was a 1,000-point scorer, two-time team captain, all-conference, New England all-star, 3rd all-time for points scored in a game (40), and helped lead MIT to it’s most wins in a season and first conference championship in the program’s 108-year history…Graduated with degrees in Political Science and Management Science, and minors in Economics and Theater…Served as assistant basketball coach at MIT for three seasons, helping the team earn three more conference championships, a #1 Division III national ranking and Final Four national semifinal appearance…Competed internationally in the national basketball leagues of Costa Rica, Iceland, Cape Verde and the Queensland Basketball League of Australia…First learned of handball while playing basketball in Iceland…Is the head coach of Norlha Basketball, a semi-professional basketball team of nomads on the Tibetan Plateau…His team was subject of the documentary Ritoma by Oscar-winner Ruby Yang.

  • 2019 ANOC World Beach Games - 11th Place (Doha, Qatar)
  • 2019 North American & Caribbean Handball Confederation (NORCA) Championships - 1st (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • 2019 Copa Internacional de Balonmano Playa Volcán - 1st, Top Scorer, Top Pivot
  • 2018 Pan American Beach Handball Championships – 3rd (Oceanside, California)
  • 2017 La Seyne Sur Mer Invitational – 2nd (La Seyne, France)
  • 2016 Pan American Championships – 1st, Top-Five Scorer (Vargas, Venezuela)
  • 2015 American Open Beach Handball Championships – 2nd Place (Gulf Shores, Alabama)
  • 2015 Member of USA Indoor Handball Olympic Residency Program (Auburn, Alabama)
  • 2014 Vancouver Indoor Handball Invitational – 1st (Vancouver, Canada)
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