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Q&A With Garfield Heights Coach Sonny Johnson

We caught up with Garfield Heights (Ohio) High School basketball coach Sonny Johnson this week to talk about his two players that have signed to play at Missouri next season.

Garfield Heights (Ohio) High School basketball coach Sonny Johnson will be watching the Missouri Tigers closely over the next few years. Two of his seniors, Willie Jackson and Frankie Hughes, have signed with the Tigers and will be heading to Columbia in a few months. 

We caught up with Johnson this week, just a couple days after Hughes committed to join Jackson with the Tigers, to get some insight into two key members of Missouri coach Kim Anderson’s recruiting class.

Black & Gold Illustrated: What kind of player are the Tigers getting in Frankie Hughes? 

Sonny Johnson: “A legit college shooting guard who can play some 1 if you need him to who has a huge upside.”

Black & Gold: Were you surprised Hughes ended up at Missouri? 

Johnson: “No. Not at all. Him and Willie Jackson are really close. It was all about the fit and whoever showed him the most love when they were recruiting him and I think Missouri did an outstanding job.”

Black & Gold: Who was the lead recruiter for Hughes? 

Johnson: “Rob (Fulford)”

Black & Gold: What is Missouri getting in Willie Jackson? 

Johnson: “They’re getting a very athletic kid, one of the best athletes in the country, with an unbelievable body. He has college strength right now. He’s somebody who plays extremely hard that can guard multiple positions.”

Black & Gold: Is he a 3 at the next level or can he be a 2? 

Johnson: “He can be a 3. For sure a 3.”

Black & Gold: Is he more of a 2-3 or 3-4?

Johnson: “3-4, because he’s an outstanding rebounder.”

Black & Gold: What kind of impact do you think those guys can have right away at the college level?

Johnson: “They are used to winning. They come in with a winning mentality and the type of success they’re going to get all depends on how much they mature and can grow into the game mentally because at that college level it’s such a different mental approach that you have to have.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at


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