2014 Point Guard Returns Home to Chicago

Johnnie Vassar is a Chicago native who happens to prep on the East coast. Learn more about this freshman phenom in this report.

Johnnie Vassar may go to school in Massachusetts at Lawrence Academy, but the young point guard is a true Chicagoan. His favorite NBA team is the Bulls and favorite player is none other than Derrick Rose.

The 6-0 point guard returned home on Tuesday fresh off his performance at the Nike Elite 100 Camp in St. Louis to pay the DePaul coaching staff a visit on the Lincoln Park campus.

Vassar and his mother toured the DePaul campus on Tuesday afternoon.

"The visit went really well," said Vassar. "I met with the head coach - Coach (Oliver) Purnell, and (Assistant) Coach (Billy) Garrett also. They are fun people to be around."

"They showed me around campus and showed me the facilities and everything and then I talked with coach for awhile."

Vassar's family lives on the south side of Chicago, he's moved around a bit, but Chicago is where he calls home.

"I was born in Chicago and moved to California when I was one (year old)," said Johnnie. "I grew up there and then move backed to Chicago."

Vassar also makes it back to the west coast every now and then to work out with one of the best mentors a point guard could ask for. Johnnie gets tutored by former NBA point guard and current TNT analyst Kenny "the Jet" Smith.

"I've been spending time with Kenny Smith working out with him in California," said Johnnie. "I've known him since I was little. He helps me with a lot of things."

It must have rubbed off, Vassar has really developed his on-the-ball skills and often gets compared to his two favorite idols.

"Most people compare me to Derrick Rose or Russell Westbrook and both of them are my favorite players," said Vassar. "They are both very explosive and both can find their man also. It reminds me of my play."

Vassar displayed his point guard skills at the Nike Elite 100 Camp in St. Louis last weekend. Johnnie held the unique distinction of being invited to the camp last year when he was still in the eighth grade.

"I've been there twice now," said Johnnie "It went well. I was happy with how I played."

While he was there Vassar got to know DePaul commit Billy Garrett, Jr. The two have become close and spent the last two days together.

"I just came back from the gym working out with Billy Garrett, Jr. at Morgan Park," Vassar said

Vassar is definitely among the nation's elite at the point guard position. One recruiting service ranks him as the 26th best overall player in the class of 2014 and fourth best at his position.

Besides DePaul, Vassar has also visited Illinois and Syracuse during the last two months.

He is also receiving interest from Boston College, Iowa, Temple and Texas A&M.

As a rising sophomore, Vassar is in no rush to make a collegiate decision.

"I have no favorites right now, everything is open," said Johnnie.

Johnnie will spend the next couple weeks in Chicago before he hits the AAU trail beginning in July. Vassar plays with the Massachusetts-based BABC team and will be in action at the Nike Peach Jam in South Carolina in July.


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