Student Omari Dillard-Johnson Headed to Europe to Play Basketball with USA United World Games Team

June 09, 2022

Houma, La. resident Omari Dillard-Johnson is a Delgado Community College student majoring in General Studies. The 19-year-old is also the only athlete from Louisiana selected to play in the 2022 United World Games on June 16-19 in Klagenfurt, Austria. He will play for Student Athlete World 19U USA Basketball Team, which will also be going to Italy and Germany this month.

He told Houma Today that he is very excited about the honor and the opportunity: “I want to have fun, see all the different countries and see all the cultures. I want to make great memories while I’m there.”

Only 25 players were selected for the United World Games team from the 130 who tried out. Dillard-Johnson was steered to Houston for the tryout by his coaches, former NBA players Patrick Savoy and Mark Davis. Both of them played at Thibodaux High School on their way to NCAA and NBA success.

“There’s not too many people who can leave the country and play for Team USA,” Dillard-Johnson told Houma Today. “I feel fortunate and blessed. I’m very excited for it. I’m not really too nervous. I’m just going to go out there and have fun.”

A 6-foot tall small forward, Dillard-Johnson was a starter at Covenant Christian Academy in Gray, La.—not far from Houma and Thibodaux. He plans a career in business and sports management, according to his bio on the NCSA Sports website.

The NCSA bio quotes Dillard-Johnson as saying, “I may be 6 feet but my nickname is Samson--from the Bible--because I am very strong and size never matters with me.”

The young athlete says that education and basketball are his passions and he uses his skills in both to serve his community. In recent years, he has offered a free basketball camp for children ages 5 to 12 at the Dularge Gym.

He also has an outreach program for youth called Sunrise. “It is in honor of my grandfather who received his wings in 2016 due to lung cancer,” he says in his NCSA bio. “We used to sit up and watch the sunrise together--so every chance I get, I speak to teens about the dangers of smoking.  I am who I am today all because of my grandfather and my mom.  I want to make him proud as he looks down on me.”

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Omari Dillard-Johnson