Q & A: UHigh's Jalen Johnson

TSD recently caught up with rising University High senior Jalen Johnson, coming off consecutive state championships in Louisiana and playing alongside one of the nation's best this summer.

One of several college prospects coming into his senior season at University High (Baton Rouge), Jalen Johnson is carving out a name for himself this summer, lacing 'em up for Wings Elite of Arkansas on Nike's EYBL circuit.

Johnson (6-6.5, 190) shares the same perimeter as blue-chip recruit Malik Monk, and through 11 games Johnson, a southpaw, is averaging 10.2 points and 6.2 rebounds a game while shooting 81.6 percent from the charity stripe.

Check out my recent interview with Johnson, conducted at the recent EYBL stop in Houston, below.


Ben Love: To start off how do you reflect on two straight state championships?

Jalen Johnson: It’s just been fun, really fun. They were two great seasons with great teammates and a great coach, and all I can tell you is we’re looking forward to winning another one.

BL: How was this last title different than the one you guys (Skylar Mays, Wayde Sims and D.J. White) won as sophomores?

JJ: It was tougher because you’ve won one and then you’re in that middle season before your senior year and you don’t know what’s going to happen. Then you’ve got the target on your back. So it was tougher and more fun because we won it all and we’ve still got the bragging rights.

BL: Now you’re here with the Arkansas Wings, and Skylar and Wayde are off doing their own things this summer in other places. What’s it like all playing apart? Do you think it maybe helps each of you to grow individually in your game?

JJ: Yeah, we started off playing with each other at a young age (in the summers) but then we separated to do our own things. I hope they’re doing well wherever they’re playing, and I hope they’re getting more offers and being seen. Those are my teammates on the high school level, so I want to see them do well, just like they do me.

BL: How has this summer been for you so far?

JJ: Really good. It’s a great organization with great players. Everything’s been great for me.

BL: Where do you think your game projects on the college level?

JJ: More of a two or a three. They [college coaches he’s spoken with] say I’ll be a good wing player and a good rebounder from the wing and they really like my shooting.

BL: Which schools have shown you the most attention so far in the recruiting process?

JJ: Right now Murray State and Arkansas. (Since the interview Southeastern Louisiana offered Johnson.)

BL: Well there’s still a lot in front of you in that process. Have you thought about when you want to ultimately make a decision?

JJ: Most likely I’ll wait until after my senior season. I’m going to take my time, go through my options and see which spot is the best fit for me.

BL: What kind of factors will be important to you about the school you end up choosing?

JJ: Well one, the coach has got to love me and my game. And then it’s just the academics because I want to go into broadcast journalism. Also the school vibe has to be good. It has to be a good school without violations or NCAA stuff to worry about.

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