Brice Johnson signs for Toyama Grouses in Japan

Brice Johnson was one of the most dominant big-men to play in Chapel Hill and lots of fans will remember his time from 2012-2016. Now, Johnson is embarking on a new adventure in Toyama, Japan.

For all the latest updates on Tar Heels playing professionally overseas, follow @britishtarheel on Twitter and @britishtarheel on Instagram.

Brice Johnson was a force to be reckoned with at the University of North Carolina and is the current holder of the most rebounds in a season with 416 in his senior year. It was announced yesterday that Brice Johnson will sign for the Toyama Grouses in the B-League of Japan. The team released a club statement on Brice’s comments about signing for the Grouses.

“I am extremely excited to play in the city of Toyama, and for the fans of Toyama. I have heard the fans are very passionate about basketball and I’m excited to play in front of them and win a lot of games. Last season the team made the playoffs. I want to contribute to advancing further and hopefully winning a championship.”

Brice Johnson on joining Toyama Grizzlies

“Basketball in Japan is on the rise and I’m thankful for the opportunity to begin playing in such a beautiful country and city.”

Brice Johnson on playing in Japan

Brice Johnson is entering his sixth year of professional basketball after being drafted in the first round of the 2016 NBA Draft to the Los Angeles Clippers. Johnson spent the majority of his time in the NBA D-League, but did play a total of 12 games for the Clippers and 9 games for the Memphis Grizzlies.

In 2019, Brice took his talents overseas and has been able to see all over the world. Johnson has played for teams in Puerto Rico, Italy, France and last season in Ukraine. Last season, Johnson played for BC Budivelynk, the most successful team in Ukraine, he led his team in RPG, BPG, SPG and averaged 13 PPG in 24 minutes.

ORLANDINA (ITALY)2019/2032.417.3511.180.82
CHORALE ROANNE (FRANCE)2019/2025.413.295.430.43
BUDIVELYNK (UKRAINE)2020/2124.313.08.371.16
Statistics are up to date as of May 27th (source:

The move will be made official after the medical checks and then Brice Johnson will heading off to Asia after time in North America and Europe.

Brice Johnson will be following in the footsteps of other Tar Heels who have played in Japan, including Jawad Williams, James McAdoo and Desmond Hubert who were the most recent players to play in Japan.

Jawad Williams spoke recently to the Ceiling is the Roof Podcast about playing in Japan and had some pretty amazing stories of playing overseas basketball, watch the episode here:

If you haven’t already, subscribe to the YouTube Channel for the Ceiling is the Roof Podcast for all episodes with former UNC basketball players.

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