High-Flyer Excited About Auburn Commitment

Coach Tony Barbee's Auburn basketball team has picked up an early verbal commitment for the 2012 signee class.

Alpharetta, Ga.--Although he can't take an official visit to Auburn until he is a senior at Milton High School, high-flying Shaquille Johnson says he has seen enough of Tony Barbee and his program to know that he wants to play basketball for the Tigers.

"I really like Coach Barbee and his coaching staff, especially Coach (Milt) Wagner who has been recruiting me," he says. "We have a good relationship.

"I have been to Auburn five times and I have a good feel for it," he says. "Auburn is a great place and the basketball program is coming on. Coach Barbee is bringing in talented players to upgrade the team and I am excited about the chance to go there and have a chance to play and contribute as a freshman."

Before that happens the small forward has plenty of high school basketball left starting on Friday night as his team begins what it hopes is a run to a repeat state championship. Milton finished the regular season with a 23-2 record and earned a first round bye in the playoffs.

That record is not surprising from a team that is loaded with Division I prospects, including all five starters from last year's state champions. Athletically, Johnson stands out in the group with his exceptional jumping ability and his spectacular dunks and blocks.

Johnson, a junior, has taken the role of the sixth man off the bench. He is a player who brings instant energy and a lot of athleticism into the lineup. Johnson is averaging eight points per game while hitting 68 percent of his shots. He is also pulling in eight rebounds per game.

Shaquille is known for his slam dunks that included one that broke the rim.

The junior is a true small forward. "I am 6-5, 210 pounds," he says, adding that as a 16-year-old he expects to grow both taller and bigger by the time he is ready to play college basketball. He notes that he is excited to have the opportunity to do that at Auburn.

"I love the new arena and all of the facilities there," he says. "I can't wait to play there."

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