Lehigh Valley men’s basketball player signs overseas post-grad contract

An athlete signing a document

Hesro Johnson recently signed on to play men's basketball for the Nottingham Trent University in England.

Credit: Alli Souchuck

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Penn State Lehigh Valley senior men’s basketball player Hesro Johnson recently became the first player in PSU-LV history to sign an overseas post-graduate basketball contract. In the fall of 2021, Johnson will be playing for Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in England.

NTU is a public research university and the ninth largest university in the U.K., with about 35,000 students split over five different campuses. The men’s basketball team at NTU is one of the largest and most respected clubs at the university. There were 300 trialists last year who competed for spots on their three BUCS teams, local league team and development team.  

Johnson’s contract will cover housing, books, food and a possible stipend for playing. The NTU head coach, who was impressed with Johnson’s statistics and game film from his playing time at PSU-LV, first contacted Johnson about this opportunity. 

“Playing at NTU is a lifelong accomplishment — something that I’ve been working toward since I can remember. Playing overseas is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I was a little kid. All the two-a-day and early morning workouts paid off, but they don’t stop just because I’ve reached what I want to do. Now it’s time to go harder than ever,” Johnson said. “I’m the first to go this far with sports in my family so it means more than words can describe.”  

Johnson has been a committed and dedicated member of the men's basketball program for three seasons, transferring from Prairie View A&M and Penn State Dubois, Hesro started in 31 of 46 games in a PSU-LV uniform. Johnson has compiled a total of 443 points with a team-leading 16 points per game and was ranked sixth overall in the PSUAC in scoring his junior season. He was ranked in the top two in statistical leaders for PSU-LV men's basketball in FG %, three-point %, FT %, assist per game and steals per game. In Hesro's sophomore season, he helped his team to a spot in the PSUAC playoffs. Hesro has also been an amazing ambassador for the PSU-LV campus as he served on numerous Athletic Open House Student-Athlete panels and is a member of the PSUAC SAAC. Hesro was named to PSUAC All-Academic two times.   

“Penn State has given me the opportunity to play collegiate basketball while being able to earn a degree from one of the best universities in the world. Even after graduating, you have a group of alumni that are always willing to help. It’s the best of both worlds. Thank you, Penn State Lehigh Valley,” Johnson said. 

Hesro will graduate from Penn State Lehigh Valley with a degree in business. He is a graduate of Kings Christian Academy High School and is from Prince George's County, Maryland.