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June 6, 2012Every team Kevin Johnson plays for wins. Cincinnati Summit Country Day senior KJ helped his high school to a Division III State Championship. His AAU outfit, Ohio Basketball Club (O.B.C.) advanced to the finals of the Pittsburgh Jam Fest in April. Last July O.B.C. won the Triple S Harley Davidson Jam Fest out in West Virginia.
The first weekend of June Johnson and his O.B.C. boys got a reprieve. They took the weekend off. No basketball. Whew. Time to relax. Recover.
Kevin figured out a way to play anyway.
His shorts didn't match and he didn't quite meld into the team's offensive system. And yet no one complained when Kevin Johnson suited up for Martin's Wolverine's all weekend.
With his help Martin's advanced to the DI AAU State Championship Game. They were unable to topple the mighty All-Ohio Red squad, but perhaps you sense a theme bubbling.
Kevin Johnson equals winning. Is there anything more you can ask from your point guard?
Perfection: Eric Gordon
The diversity of shot locations makes Kevin Johnson a difficult cover. He can get into the paint or pop a mid-range shot. And he even comfortably dribbles towards or away from the basket. It is an unorthodox attack from a tallish guard. The advanced guard has the floater, the dunk, the finger roll.
His jab step precedes another jab step. Johnson keeps probing with each dribble. He will penetrate, retreat, and then repeat the process all the while patiently searching for that perfect lane.
This attribute makes him an expert against zone defenses. Often he will create a shot for his team simply by exploring the defense's structure and eventually correctly identifying the weak spots.
When attacking a single man Johnson uses big strides to blast by.
Johnson loves to dash left. He can get to his left hand with a traditional crossover, but actually prefers go between his legs immediately into a slashing maneuver.
Johnson likes to use his off hand to control the defender. Once he gets a step he will slide his free hand on the defender's backside thus creating more space with each step. This savvy maneuver usually seeps into a dribbler's game by his twentieth birthday. Not late high school.
One reason Johnson's stock continues to slowly climb is his potential for excellence. Despite his achievements to date Johnson truly has many floors of improvement to make. The athleticism and attitude are there. Any coach worth his position will be able to bring vast improvements out of KJ.
Perfection: Frankie Williams
Almost gave young KJ a ten here. He has such great court vision. Beyond that Kevin knows where a pass will be available later. Watching him absorb a defender with the express intent of freeing a teammate reminds of legendary players like Mark Price or John Stockton.
With incredible ease Johnson forces defenders to make uncomfortable decisions like collapse or fan out. If there is a man on the floor riddled with indecision Johnson drives right at him. Exploiting 2-on-1 situations has become routine for this teen.
Johnson makes most of his perimeter passes zip passes showing that he has been coached well. Unlike many point guards UC is recruiting Johnson does not need the ball in his hands throughout the setup. He will swing the ball and change the point of attack regularly.
Johnson's humility allows the team to vary its attack.
Receiving a ten in passing might require ridiculously flashy yet precise passes. Maybe Johnson could improve his left-hand passes a touch. There really is not much more to ask of him regarding this category.
Perfection: Bill Walker
Johnson can dunk. In a single game of basketball he might not. He glides around the court like a right-handed Stacy Augmon, only occasionally poking on unsuspecting foes. He easily injects himself into top shelf battles on the glass. If Johnson needs to finish over a blocker he can. At the end of the day leaping does not make or break KJ though.
He thrives through other means.
The portion of the court saturated with explosive Johnson jumps remains the defensive paint.
Perfection: Greg Oden
There is not a better rebounding guard in the entire state of Ohio. Point guard for Summit Country Day Johnson's college summit might be 5.0 rpg. It is more than leaping ability that finds Johnson in possession of rebound after rebound. He never breaks free from defensive responsibilities until the rebound is secured.
The advantages of a point guard challenging for the team lead in rebounding are obvious. He can start the break one pass sooner. He sees the entire floor perhaps better than any player. A break beginning with him at the helm feels safe.
Like all teenagers Johnson will have to continue to add muscle to his arms and chest. This will only enable him to gather more rebounds against the big boys.
Perfection: D.J. Richardson
Tall by high school point guard standards Johnson's 6'1" height will be a welcome addition to any college roster. He slides his feet with ease. Quicker guards still struggle to bypass his invested defense.
Like most elite basketball players Johnson possesses the capability for greatness on defense, but still does not hunker down every possession. He could get into a lower defensive stance when defending the ball.
Already accomplished in all team aspects Johnson could become a great help defender with his smooth mobility. It will take just a little more comprehension to perfect for this offensive star.
Final word: 40 of 50
Proficiency with the ball in his hands, defensive rebounding, and positive leadership define Johnson's game at present. His weakness is outside shooting. Whichever college basketball coach acquires this talent will be blessed with a hard worker who knows how to win or lose with grace.
He has a long way to go to become the most famous basketball-playing Kevin Johnson of all time. Former Phoenix Suns great "KJ" scored 13,127 points, won a Gold Medal (1994), and just won a second term as Sacramento mayor.
This KJ is off to a fast start though, winning a State Title as a junior, finishing second place in Ohio State AAU, and garnering both Big 10 and Big East offers before July.