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WATCH: KSR catches up with DAKARI JOHNSON!

KSR’s talented videographer Bradley “B-Roll” McKee is staying busy and touching base with several former Wildcats. Up next is Dakari Johnson! The former Wildcat is quarantining in Atlanta now, but he’s also coming off of a multiple-year stay in China, where he plays with the Chinese Basketball League.

He returned to America a few months ago when the Coronavirus began getting serious overseas. Before COVID-19 shut down the globe, Johnson says he was getting used to the Chinese culture.

“It’s the opposite side of the world, so the culture is real different. When I first went up there, it was a big culture shock [and] something I had to get used to,” Johnson says. “Thankfully, the organization I’m with does a good job. They have two translators for us, so that makes it a lot easier. A lot of my teammates also speak english and they work out in LA during the summer… You’re allowed to have three American imports per team, so I hang out with those guys a bunch.”

He says his experience living and competing all over Asia has made him appreciate the smaller things people often take for granted in the United States, including something as simple as ride-share services.

“It makes me grateful for the little things. [In America], you can catch an uber or drive your car. Over there, I have to get taxis and that’s a whole different adventure. You know, telling them where you want to go and stuff like that.”

In his conversation with KSR, Johnson also reflects back on his time at Kentucky and his relationship with John Calipari.

“He prepares you for the next level, really,” Johnson says of his former head coach. “If I didn’t have that, you go on to the next level thinking everything is handed to you but it’s not. I feel like he prepares everybody for that certain situation. I appreciate [Coach Calipari] a lot because if it wasn’t for him, I feel like I wouldn’t be prepared on my journey right now.”

Throughout the rest of the interview, Johnson also reflects on his time with his fellow McDonald’s All-Americans and future Kentucky teammates, the Cats’ trip to the Bahamas, what he’s binge watching on Netflix, how he’s staying in shape during quarantine (hint: it’s a Peloton bike) and what it was like to return to Rupp Arena as the honorary ‘Y’ during UK’s final game of the season. Plus, will he ever be able to really get over the end to the 38-1 season?

Check it out!

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Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

5 Comments for WATCH: KSR catches up with DAKARI JOHNSON!



  1. UKLugo
    10:17 pm May 13, 2020 Permalink

    Shoulda stayed.



    • chris43
      10:46 pm May 13, 2020 Permalink

      I agree and wish that he would have BUT I’m sure he’s still making pretty darn good $$$ playing overseas. Seems like a great kid! Shame that we lost him so early. Imagine if he stayed 2-3 years….



  2. zoupman
    11:28 pm May 13, 2020 Permalink

    Dude left one year to early. Couldn’t care less about his life.



    • Newtype
      7:53 am May 14, 2020 Permalink

      That is something a dickhead would say.



  3. RexRox
    12:59 am May 14, 2020 Permalink

    Once a Cat, always a Cat!