March 16, 2016

Johnson making his own name

Kevin McCarthy

photo of Logan Johnson

With five St. Francis seniors earning All-West Catholic Athletic League first and second team honors this season and each expected to move on and play collegiate athletics, it becomes apparent when watching 6-foot-2 sophomore Lancer Logan Johnson on the court that he gets it.

Johnson understands the game doesn't revolve around him. Not that he's biding his time and waiting for his turn by any means but as he explained it, “we say it all the time--know your role, play hard, be competitive.”

In an anomaly of sorts, he cites scoring prevention as one of his best talents. “I pride myself on my defense, being more than somebody with offensive talent. I want to guard the opposing team's best player and bring energy.”

So how did this rather mature philosophical thinking come to be? “I've learned from a lot of people, a lot of coaches. But growing up going to my brother's games and him taking me outside to teach me is the most influential.” That brother being second-year Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson.

Asked how it goes when he matches up with his elder brother, Johnson was discreet with “it gets competitive.”

There's also an enlightened attitude he expressed when queried about his best moments on the court. “It was definitely recently winning CCS Open Division [55-47 over Bellarmine College Prep] but just being able to play everyday is great. That's a moment and a lot of people don't get that opportunity.”

Here's St. Francis Coach Mike Motil on his youngster: “Logan has done an excellent job in the class room these past two years by maintaining a 3.0 grade point average. He has also done an excellent job of working on his game by coming in before school to get in some extra work on the basketball floor.”

Johnson plays with the Top Flight Elite AAU organization in the spring and summer and Jamon Osby is his coach. He offered, “Logan is an extremely confident competitor and will do anything he can to help the team win. His physical traits with his length and athleticism allows him to be a lockdown perimeter defender. However, it's his mental approach and wanting to lock up the other team's best player is what makes him special player. On offense, he is a scoring guard who has an explosive first step and can get to the rim with ease and finish in a variety of ways. He is now working on turning himself into a true PG as this is his position at the next level.”

Osby continued, “People mistakenly take his confidence on the court as being something else. However, Logan is an extremely humble person who is always looking for the best in others. Just like on the basketball floor, but also in life, he puts others first. Logan is an excellent leader in the Saint Francis High School sophomore class and has shown great leadership at school by speaking out against bullying behavior. He knows exactly what he wants in terms of the game of basketball and will not let anything get in the way of him achieving that. Logan is his own player and refuses to live in the shadow of others. He is excited about getting on the AAU scene and letting the people who have been sleeping on him take notice of his game.”

One of Johnson's best friends plays for Bellarmine, 6-foot-2 sophomore Jake Wojcik. “I met him through the Top Flight Elite program. He was in the gym shooting and I was trying to get after him and get into his head. We have a handshake we do before [St. Francis versus Bellarmine] games and we're friends off the court but him being a very good player, I definitely want to guard him every time.”

With a brother in the Big Show, it might seem like there is a certain amount of pressure of sorts on Logan to perform well. But the aggravation actually comes away from the dribbling, passing and shooting. “Sometimes you get overwhelmed. Everybody wants to be your friend. I get asked ‘how's Tyler doing?’ more than ‘how's Logan doing?’ and that gets me fired up. Logan can play, too.”

His mother serves in the Air Force and there is a family devotion to her. “She gives us ambition,” Johnson said. “For everything she has gone through, I want to be able to have my Mom retire and enjoy the happiest life.”

But first comes the remainder of this season, two more prep years and then college. But eventually it would be terrific to have the ESPN announcers coining and throwing around the pet phrase 'the Johnson and Johnson family' when covering NBA highlights.