SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (BVM) – Former “Last Chance U: Basketball” star Bryan Penn-Johnson is in the midst of his junior season at Cal Poly. After showcasing his skillset at East Los Angeles College in 2021-22, Penn-Johnson entered his name into the transfer portal this past offseason in hopes of returning to the Division I level.
With 13 games played so far in his junior campaign, the 7-foot-1 center has found an early role during his time with the Mustangs.
“We are shaking things up this year; we are not the same Cal Poly team we have had over the past couple of years,” Penn-Johnson told Mustang News. “Nothing but vets, nothing but older guys, a very experienced group. We are going to win some games this year, and that’s really all that matters.”
Congrats to East Los Angeles College 2022 C Bryan Penn Johnson has committed to @calpolymbb. Thank you to all the programs who offered and showed interest, Keep grinding Big Fella!! #GoHuskies🏀🏀🏀🏀 @sgnlthelgthoops @JucoRecruiting @JUCOadvocate @VerbalCommits @AthleticsELAC pic.twitter.com/8nKWgwMULh
— ELACBball (@ElacBball) May 13, 2022
Since transferring to the program back in May of 2022, Penn-Johnson has averaged 10.3 minutes per game in his arrival back to college basketball’s highest stage. The early opening to the season has come with modest results for the Mustangs’ big man who has totaled just 3.5 points per game and 1.8 rebounds. The difference, following his 29–game effort with ELAC this past year in which he averaged 8.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.7 assists in his 15 starts, has come with a different set of expectations in his new home.
While Cal Poly hovers around the .500 mark in their 2022-23 campaign, Penn-Johnson is hoping his most recent stint leads to some success at the collegiate level.
Coming out of high school in 2018 as a four-star recruit from Wasatch Academy in Utah, Penn-Johnson landed at the University of Washington. After two years that included a redshirt season his opening campaign, the Long Beach native decided his best option was to transfer away from the Huskies’ program. Unfortunately after the move to LSU resulted in similar circumstances, Penn-Johnson found himself at ELAC, which was being highlighted for the year by the Netflix docuseries. The show featured a background on Penn-Johnson who was a late-bloomer on the basketball court and had dealt with homelessness for two years growing up.
The “Last Chance U: Basketball” star is hoping his most recent stop can lead to the success he’s been searching for at the college level.