Once upon a time, there was a stories New Jersey high school basketball team that went undefeated all season long. They matched up against some of the best players and high schools in the country and came out victorious, until one fateful day in the New Jersey state championship. This team was St. Patrick’s (NJ), which featured our beloved Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and was documented in the film Prayer For a Perfect Season.
MKG’s teammate that year happened to be young up-and-coming 2014 recruit Dakari Johnson, who recently had to sit out a year of high school hoops. Kevin Boyle was St. Patrick’s coach with Gilchrist, and he had become a wildly successful figure in the high school basketball world with that school. However, he got into some hot water over attending sanctioned workouts against NJ rules, and he wound up moving to Monteverde Academy in Florida.
Johnson followed his coach, but had to sit out a year. Thankfully, Johnson is now cleared and ready to go. This had fallen a bit under the radar, but Zagsblog wrote about it today and it is worth mentioning because Dakari is a kid that Coach Cal had been keeping tabs on very closely.
Dakari Johnson is a 6’10 center, rated a five star both most all three scouting services and is generally considered a top 10 player in the 2014 class. He’s considering Kentucky, Kansas, Louisville, Ohio State, Georgetown, Syracuse, Villanova, and Xavier. But with Calipari’s long-time recruitment and his relationship to MKG, it’s hard to see Dakari choosing a college other than Kentucky.
The Coach Cal-Big Man dynamic is an interesting one to watch develop, as it had done quickly over the past three years. Calipari has gone from ‘the point guard coach’ to putting big men in the lottery every year. DeMarcus Cousins started the trend of extremely talented big men who chose Coach Cal. Prior to being at UK, Cal’s big men were often just raw, athletic guys who were willing to battle. UK allowed (yes, I know Cousins was going to go to Memphis) Cal to land a string of very talented forwards and centers that will pay off down the road, as he shows he can develop and get big guys into the pros at just a good rate as guards. Terrence Jones and Anthony Davis are about to further this trend.
Dakari Johnson will team up with rising 2013 superstar Kasey Hill, which will make for quite the team. It’s a bummer that Hill will be a Gator, but UK will still stock up in 2013 regardless. Check out these quotes to Zagoria from Johnson on getting back to basketball:
“It was tough at first, but I got accustomed to it,” Johnson said of the transfer from Colorado Springs, Colo., where he hopes to make the USA Men’s U17 World Championship Team.
“Me sitting out was hard but I sucked it up and I just got in the training room with my trainer and we worked out like two times a day and just got my body in shape.”
[powered by WordPress.]
Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
9 queries. 1.218 seconds