This is an older article, but puts perspective. It is about Richmond Squires teamates James Tyler and Karron Johnson at the NBAPA Top 100 camp.
Here’s the part about Johnson.
New Jack is Getting’ It
Karron Johnson has what the Squire’s director Squire, describes as having “some of that dog in him”. No, that doesn’t mean he coasts or ‘dogs it’. What is meant is that Johnson competes at a high level, and is fearless. That mentality was amply on display at the NBAPA event.
Standing around 6’7” and weighing 223, this rising sophomore at Lenoir, NC’s Patterson School repeatedly slashed to the basket, battled bigger and older players around the rim, and filled and finished on the break. Some of those plays were breathtaking.
When asked to describe his playing style, Johnson responded “It depends on the defender. If he’s smaller than me, I’m going to the post. If he’s slower than me, I’m going to take him outside”.
In addition to this event, Johnson exhibited that “dog” at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions, this spring. In that memorable contest versus the always formidable DC Assault, Karron attacked the rim, defended, and even hit the game winning shot from 35 feet. In short, he was a terror. Squire thinks that game was Johnson’s coming out party.
Squire also compares Johnson favorably, to one of the best ever to lace ‘em up in Richmond/Petersburg, as he said, “I told people after one year, that he might be the best to come out of this area, since Moses Malone”. That comparison is not based upon skill set, but mentality. “He’s got a fire in him that never goes out” shared Squire.
Though Johnson’s game is impressive for a player of any age, let alone somebody of his youth, Karron was quick to state the facets of hoops he must improve in. “I think I need to improve my ball handling and my jump shot” he said. “And work on defense more”.
Greenway, the skill/fitness expert Squire labeled “the unknown assassin with the workout thing” agreed with Karron’s self-assessment, and added specifics regarding the young man’s development plan. “We want to make the jump shot more consistent” he said. That would entail improving Johnson’s “elevation on the jumper out to three (point land)”.
In his opinion, the need to firmly establish Johnson’s perimeter shooting skill is an unintended consequence of the young man’s ability to attack the rim. “Karron, being as athletic as he is, hasn’t worked on his jumper as much” stated Greenway, “because he would just dunk on everybody”.
Despite having completed his freshman year, colleges are expressing interest. According to Karron, “Virginia Tech, UVA, LSU, Louisville, Memphis, Arizona” and many others have expressed interest.
A proud Richmond native, Karron doesn’t shirk from representing Virginia’s capital city on the court. “I feel good about it (hailing from Richmond) he said. “Because I’m the only young guy from the city, doing my thing”.