JBC Q&A: J.P. Tokoto & Brice Johnson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- After a week of practice and the Jordan Brand Classic game itself, J.P. Tokoto talked with Inside Carolina about the experience and his future as a Tar Heel.


You and Shabazz Muhammad both received scholarship offers at the same time from North Carolina. Can you compare and contrast your recruitments?

It was never a commitment battle or anything. I'm pretty sure he wasn't rushing, obviously he wasn't. We both wanted to make the right choice, so we both took our time and really evaluated our situations. He's a good dude, I'm a good dude and we both come from great backgrounds.

How have you grown away from basketball during high school?

It just comes with experience (being more confident). I wasn't really a big talker, but once you start talking to people, you meet new people, come out of your shell more and just kind of get used to it. That's probably what's happened to me.

That's a good thing, too. People used to think that I was kind of kept to myself, but I'm not that kind of guy. I'm really outgoing and I figured I'd let people know that by just getting to know them and treating them like people.

When do you get to UNC and who are you most looking forward to learning from?

Summer school starts on June 17, so I head down there before that and I graduate on June 10, so between then. I'm going to be playing behind Reggie Bullock right now. I have a lot of questions for him, text him all the time and stuff. We're building relationships already - me and him and P.J. It's going to be a great experience for me. I can't wait to get down there and play for Coach and have a great team. We're going to have a good squad next year, we're going to work hard.

Your moment with Mason Plumlee at the college dunk contest in Texas earlier this month has become a little bit of a Youtube sensation…

That's just a little UNC-Duke rivalry, it's nothing personal. I'm pretty sure he knew that. He came to my dunk contest and was pretty cool. I wanted to say something to him, but I didn't want any media blowing it up as me challenging or stepping to him or anything like that.

It was all fun; I didn't realize cameras were looking until the second time I picked it up (laughs). It was awesome though.

What's the relationship like between the Duke, NCSU and UNC guys? Are you guys close?

Me and Rodney became a little bit closer, we shared a room this week and built a friendship. It was real cool hanging with him this week. Me and ‘Sheed (Duke signee Rasheed Sulaimon) have always joked around with the UNC-Duke stuff.

It was an overall fun weekend and, no, I don't think we really take it seriously yet. But I mean when we play, it's going to be a totally different story. We're still going to be boys, but it's no friends on the court.

‘Sheed wouldn't sing 'Be Like Mike' would he?

I don't know, I haven't even seen the video yet. He surprised me with that, the guy who has us do it. I got to the room and I thought it was going to be interview. He said ‘Ok, I'm a need you to sing something.' I was like ‘Oh.' I didn't even warm up my voice yet - I have a beautiful voice, but I was a little raspy.


Now that high school's over – are you ready to get to Chapel Hill?

Yeah, I'm ready to go. I can't play high school basketball anymore, so I might as well get ready.

What do you think your role is going to be next year? Is there some nervousness or anxiousness?

I'm not nervous at all for next year. I'm just ready. No use in being nervous now, might as well go ahead and be ready.

What have the last two years been like for you? From relatively unknown, to Jordan Brand All-American…

It's been a blessing, honestly, man. That means I worked hard and everything paid off.

We spoke with Marcus Paige and he give a very complimentary, detailed scouting report on your game. What did you think of it?

That's accurate. Marcus knows best. He's going to be the new point guard so he sees more than I do. We all talk every once and a while to get to know each other. Me and J.P., we're brothers and we talk to Joel sometimes. We're just ready.

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