Born in Carnarvon (located approximately 900 km north of Perth) to Craig and Carolyn Johnson, Johnson has three siblings, Josh, Courtnee and Jess, and attended Willetton Senior High School in Perth, graduating in 2005. He also played basketball for the Willetton Tigers in the State Basketball League. From there he accepted a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport, and while at the AIS helped his team win the King Club International Cup and was named the tournament MVP averaging 22 points per game. While attending the AIS he also represented Australia at the 2007 FIBA Under-19 World Championship in Serbia helping the Emus to 5th place overall with an 8-1 tournament record averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
At the 2007 Under 20 Nationals, Johnson averaged 24.3 points and 12.8 rebounds per game and was named in the Tournament All-Star Five team. Johnson was the tournament’s second highest scorer behind future NBA player and Boomers star Patty Mills.
The 212cm Centre/Forward, was named in the NBL’s All Star Five last season and was one of the league’s leading scorers averaging 19.6ppg and 7 rebounds per game.
Johnson, 27, first joined the 36ers in 2010 after beginning his NBL career with the Melbourne Tigers. The 212cm (6’11”) centre soon blossomed to become one of the best big men in the NBL.
Daniel won the clubs MVP Award three seasons straight from 2011-2014 and last season was recruited to Stelmet Zielona Gora in the Polish Basketball League, however struggling to adapt to lifestyle and with injury to BJ Anthony, Johnson was able to return to the Sixers line-up for the latter part of the 2014/15 NBL season. In the 2013/14 season DJ lead the 36ers scoring with 19.6ppg and 7rpg and was a big reason the team made the Grand Final series that season.
Immediately after the season Johnson was hit with a bout of pneumonia and was hospitalised for several weeks. ‘DJ’ has now made a full recovery and is this week signed with the Wellington Saints in the NZNBL and will harness his skills in New Zealand before heading back for pre-season under 36ers coach Joey Wright. “Obviously it’s great to have a player of DJ’s quality here for the next three seasons, he’s one of the best scoring big guys in the NBL” said Wright.