Johnny Neumann dead at 68

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

Johnny Neumann dead at 68

Adam Kuffner, Ole Miss Athletics

Johnny Neumann, an Ole Miss Rebel remembered as one of the most exciting players in college basketball history, passed away Tuesday night (April 23, 2019) at the age of 68 following a lengthy illness.

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A 6-foot-6 prodigy from Memphis often compared to LSU superstar Pete Maravich, Neumann electrified crowds in Oxford and across the Southeast in his one season with the Rebels and left his marks in the record books that might never be touched. Neumann led the nation in scoring as a sophomore at 40.1 points per game and was named to several 1971 All-America squads. He still has the three highest-scoring games by a Rebel in school history, including a pair of 60-point games. In a memorable battle against LSU, Neumann’s 63 points propelled the Rebels to a 113-90 victory over the Tigers. The 1971 SEC Player of the Year, Neumann holds the Ole Miss single-season scoring record with 923 points.

Off the court, he received Academic All-America and Academic All-SEC accolades. He left Ole Miss after the 1971 season to play for the ABA Memphis Tams. His professional career also included stints in Indiana, Los Angeles and Utah. He played and coached overseas, including serving as a head coach in China, Greece, Israel and Japan.

Neumann’s journey was covered in ESPN Films’ SEC Storied series, “The Rebel,” which premiered in May 2017. The documentary looks back on those days when Neumann took over the Memphis basketball scene playing for Overton High before moving on to Ole Miss. The film also reveals an older and wiser man who returned to Oxford in 2013 to begin working on the college degree he once spurned.

Neumann also worked briefly at South Panola High School from Dec. 2016 to Feb. 2017 as an assistant for the basketball team.