IRVING, Texas – Just after the first Nike EYBL session in Atlanta, Dior Johnson decided to switch from the Oakland Soldiers (Calif.) 17U team to Strive For Greatness (Calif.) 15U due in large part to the fact that he’d be learning under the tutelage of LeBron James, whose son Bronny also plays on the team.
“Who wouldn’t want to learn from the best?” said Johnson, a freshman point guard who is widely regarded as one of the top players in the 2022 class. “That kind of opportunity doesn’t come around all the time.”
Johnson wasted little time picking James’ brain during the last Nike EYBL session in Indianapolis, taking direction from the three-time NBA champ about everything from complicated reads to practical practices.
Johnson recalled one specific time during a game when James pulled him to the side after he noticed Johnson’s man go under a ball screen.
“He said to tell my big to set a pick on the opposite side when that happens,” Johnson said. “I did that, and it worked just how he said it would work. I knocked the jumper down wide open. He tells us everything, even how to talk to refs. I can already tell I got better just in that weekend.”
The numbers certainly back up that claim, Johnson averaged 25 points a game in Indianapolis.
“You can’t do anything but improve when you’re learning from the best,” Johnson said. “Sometimes we forget that he’s LeBron because he’s so approachable and he’s always offering advice. It’s big to have the chance to learn from him.”
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