LASER FOCUSED: Elkins Star Johnson Knows What He Wants
CHRIS JOHNSON WATCHED FELLOW FORT BEND ISD PEERS BRYCE GRIGGS AND TYLER SMITH FOREGO THEIR SENIOR YEARS LATE LAST SUMMER TO TURN PRO.
If he wanted, Elkins’ dynamic combo guard, ranked by ESPN No. 28 overall in the country for the Class of 2023, could choose to do the same should the opportunity arise this summer.
But that’s not Johnson’s focus.
“Well, first off, I’m staying where I’m at, as of right now,” Johnson said. “But their path was their path, and I’m here supporting Bryce and Tyler. We talk on the regular, so as long as they keep working, they’ll be fine. But my circle has a plan for me to get where I need to get to, and that’s the NBA.”
The 6-foot-5, 185-pounder’s circle includes former NBA veteran and University of Texas star T.J. Ford, whom Johnson leans on for advice on and off the court.
Johnson talks like a seasoned veteran who knows exactly what he wants out of life. And he does. Just read between the lines.
Johnson’s favorite song? “Achievements,” by NBA YoungBoy.
Where does he see himself in five years? “The NBA.”
Johnson, however, knows he has unfinished business at Elkins. He averaged 19.3 points, 5.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the state-ranked Knights in the regular season.
Of his recruiting process, Johnson, who holds 13 offers (including LSU, Tennessee, Kansas, Houston, Texas, and Texas A&M) said it’s “good and fun, in general,” and added that’s all he has to say about that. His recruitment remained open as of late January.
And the most memorable moment of his hoops career so far? Perhaps most telling in understanding why Johnson’s not one to look too far ahead.
“Last year, when we lost in the fourth round,” Johnson said of Elkins’ 57-52 Regional Semifinal loss to Summer Creek. “I’ve never felt like that ever, and I’m going to make sure to never feel that feeling again.”
Johnson is an intense, emotional competitor. Sometimes that can get lost in perception. Outsiders often think he’s angry or a hot head.
That’s not the case at all. “My team and coaches know the real me,” Johnson said. “I just really hate to lose.”
Johnson’s inspiration comes from his mother, Sheryl. All the hours in the gym, all the frustration and pain that accompanies every loss, all the glory from any and every ounce of success he’s earned.
It’s all for her.
“She’s a single mom, and I’ve never seen her miss a day of work, ever,” Johnson said. “And she has two jobs. I just don’t want her to ever work a day in her life again.