Casual basketball fans around the DFW Metroplex should be familiar with the name Avery Johnson.
After all, Johnson coached the Dallas Mavericks for three years and led heated rival San Antonio to an NBA title as a player in 1999. Johnson played under Larry Brown in the early 90s when he was the head coach of the Spurs.
Now Johnson's son, Avery Johnson Jr., may have an opportunity to play for Brown at the collegiate level at SMU.
"It would love to play at SMU because of Larry Brown. It would be cool to play him because he has so much experience," Johnson Jr. said. "I feel like could learn a lot from him. He's the only head coach to win a championship in the NBA and in college, and he's coached some of the top points guards in basketball."
At 5-foot-11, 182-pounds, Johnson Jr. is known for his quickness and ball-handling skills. He started at point guard for The John Cooper School in Houston last year, where he averaged 16 points per game.
Over the summer, he did a nice job backing up Texas A&M pledge Alex Robinson with the Texas Titans and is expected to take over as a starter at Plano West this upcoming season.
SMU has already landed the nation's top point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay in the Class of 2014 so adding another scholarship player at the position seems highly unlikely. But Johnson Jr. would certainly be a quality preferred walk-on candidate.
"I'm not really sure how interested they are in me, but I've been talking to Coach (Ulric) Maligi, and he comes up to the school all the time to watch us," Johnson Jr. said. "We've had some good conversations about SMU and how they're building the program. I think he's a great recruiter so we'll see what happens."
Last Friday, Johnson Jr. made an unofficial visit with teammate and 2015 four-star power forward D.J. Hogg. Johnson Jr. said he didn't have time to check out the campus, but he did enjoy watching Brown run practice.
"Their practice was really intense. I liked the way Coach Brown was so into it," Johnson Jr. said. "He had a bunch of great drills on offense and defense, and he clearly knows what he's doing. Even though D.J., and I are in a different class, it would be cool to go to the same school together."
While on campus, Johnson Jr. also got to mingle with former NBA point guard Allen Iverson.
"I actually met Allen Iverson a long time ago. I said what's up to him, and he remembered me so that was really cool," Johnson Jr. said. "He told us about the ups and downs of career and gave us some tips. He also told us how he responded to Coach Brown and how some experiences with him changed his attitude."
Johnson Jr. currently holds no offers but has received strong interest from schools such as Alabama, Arizona State, Bucknell, Loyola Marymount, LSU, LIU-Brooklyn and Southern Miss. He's also taken unofficial visits to Baylor and St. Louis.
While he patiently awaits his first scholarship, Johnson Jr. is primarily focused on leading a loaded Plano West team to the state title.
"I think we have a great chance to win state this year so I have really high expectations," he said. "I think I improved dramatically over the summer because I got to go up against high-level point guards so I feel like my decision making will be a lot better."
Johnson Jr. Reviews SMU Visit
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