NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – From Wichita North to Wichita Southeast and now, Hargrave Military Academy. The basketball journey for Jackie Johnson has taken him both near and far.
Last weekend, the high school senior found time to return to the Sunflower State for a few days and the hardwood is where he could be found.
“It starts in here, you got to put the work in if you want to see results in front of thousands,” said Johnson.
Out in Newton, Johnson went through a variety of drills with his trainer, Craig Nicholson, of CN3 Training.
Basketball came natural for Johnson, even at an early age.
“My mom put it in my hand when I was younger, I used to have a little tikes goal in the living room, a whole basketball set up, free throw line and all that,” said Johnson.
Hours spent in that living room and eventually the gym have allowed Johnson to take his talents to Hargrave Military Academy, a prep school in Chatham, Virginia.
It’s a place where his game has taken off even more from his days in the Greater Wichita Athletic League (GWAL).
“Coach just really puts me in a good situation,” said Johnson. “You know they believe in me and he always tells me to just go out there and play my game. “
The proof is in the numbers. So far this season, Johnson is averaging 27.2 points per game, all while shooting 58.4% from the field and dishing out 6.5 assists a game.
His play has caught the attention of plenty of Division 1 programs from across the country who have offered Johnson the chance to suit up for them next season.
“Eastern Washington, Coastal Carolina, Utah Valley, North Texas, East Carolina, St. Bonaventure, Montana State,” said Johnson.
Through it all, Johnson never forgets that it was his mom that put the ball in his hand first.
“She’s my rock, my queen, she’s the heart and soul of the family, heart and soul of me, my dad too,” said Johnson.
Johnson was also nominated on Thursday to the Class of 2021 McDonalds All-American South boys team. While the game has been canceled, those selected will be honored virtually.