“Usually I’m at least working out every day before school, after school. And then it just stopped,” Johnson said. “Even my mom was like ‘You need to get out of the house.’ It was such a weird transition.”
He also lost any momentum he had built with a standout junior season. Playing in the district’s Public Charter School Athletic Association, Johnson averaged 30.7 points to lead all scorers in the area. A two-star recruit, he was pursued mostly by small, local colleges. But by the end of the winter, he could feel everything picking up. The 6-foot-4 Johnson’s stat lines and highlights got more attention on social media, and more colleges expressed interest.
He took an unofficial visit to Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., the first of what he hoped would be many trips to see potential suitors. A solid showing on the spring AAU circuit would surely take his recruitment to the next level.
“Before corona I just had my eyes on AAU,” he said. “I had a good high school season so I knew I’d have a good AAU season. I was working out every day, just really focused. Then everything got canceled in the blink of an eye.”
He found himself in the same situation as many mid-level recruits across all sports: feeling helpless. Without AAU games or workouts to get more film or generate more interest, the most popular players got more popular while lesser-known recruits suffered.
Johnson still bemoans missing an opportunity to play AAU. “I think about that every day,” he said.”
It was a long summer. Once it was safe to work out again, he focused all his energy back into getting better. His basketball life has started to pick up. Johnson is playing in a fall league for the DMV T-Wolves, and he’s hoping Chavez resumes basketball activities in December.
Over the last few months, he received scholarship offers from Gannon University, Livingstone College, Miles College, Millersville University and Virginia Union University. He hopes to commit to a school in April, around his birthday. Until then, the area’s most prolific scorer will push to make up for lost time.
Other basketball news
Episcopal guard Darius Johnson committed to Central Florida this month. A Second Team All-Met selection last winter, the four-star prospect chose the Knights over Providence and Alabama.
Rock Creek Christian guard Jakai Robinson committed to Miami last week. Robinson, a Third Team All-Met selection last season, chose the Hurricanes over U-Conn., N.C. State, Seton Hall and Georgetown. He is the third All-Met player to commit to Miami in the recent years, joining DeMatha’s Earl Timberlake (2019) and Gonzaga’s Chris Lykes (2016).