HoMe PaGe

Johnny Mathis


Wiki info

Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He was a high jumper and hurdler, and he played on the basketball team. In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State College on an athletic scholarship, intending to become an English teacher and a physical education teacher. While there, Mathis set a high jump record of 6'-5 1/2". This is still one of the college's top jump heights and was only two inches short of the Olympic record at the time. Just as when he was in high school, Mathis's name was frequently mentioned in the sports sections of the Northern California newspapers. In fact, he and future NBA star Bill Russell were featured in a 1954 sports section article of the San Francisco Chronicle demonstrating their high jumping skills (Russell #1 & Mathis #2 in the City of San Francisco at that time). During one meet at the University of Nevada, Mathis beat Russell's highest jump attempt that day. He was often referred to as "the best all-around athlete to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area. "

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