Westview High School’s Justin Johnson says he’ll be staying home for college.
Johnson told The Jackson Sun he committed Thursday to play basketball for coach Heath Schroyer at UT Martin. A 6-foot-6-inch forward, he will be a senior at Westview this year.
Johnson said UTM has recruited him since he was a sophomore.
“I had thought about it and I had realized what I can do at UTM,” Johnson said.
Johnson should play as either a small forward or power forward for the Skyhawks, who will lose forwards Myles Taylor and Twymond Howard after this season.
His rebounding and versatility are two of his strengths.
“If a big [player] guards me I can take him off the dribble. If a small [player] guards me I can post him up,” Johnson said.
Johnson likes the UTM coaching staff and said assistant Jermaine Johnson recruited him most directly. Justin Johnson said as of now he would major in education with hopes of coaching.
UTM is obviously close to him, and Johnson said it’s not too big or small to be a good fit for him.
“A good-looking college. A great community,” Johnson said. “I like it.”
Johnson has previously played against UT Martin signee Malik Pugh, a Dyer County product who transferred from UNC Wilmington.
Asked to name pro basketball players he emulates, Johnson chose LeBron James and Paul George for the way they finish at the rim despite contact from defenders.
Johnson averaged 14.8 points and 6.2 rebounds last year for the Westview Chargers, who lost to Lexington in the region semifinals. He was named to The Jackson Sun’s All-West Tennessee third team.
Mike Greer takes over for J.B. Suiter as head coach this season at Westview, which appears to be one of the area’s top contenders to make the 2016 state tournament.
“He’s very hard on us,” Johnson said of Greer. “He expects a lot from us seniors.”
Craig Thomas, 425-9634