One of the names on the summer league roster you haven't heard before: David Johnson. (That's him in the Blue Devils jersey, jumping over a 6'8 Woodland Warrior.) Well, maybe you've heard of him if your kid plays basketball at Holmes Junior High in Davis. That's where Johnson coaches 7th- and 8th-grade boys and girls basketball.
Johnson is locally-bred, attending Davis High in the late '90s. He was recruited by programs including Oregon State, St. Mary's, and Cal, but couldn't make grades. He ended up playing ball at Napa Valley College for a little bit, but had to begin working full-time to raise his two young children. Along with his work at Holmes Junior High, Johnson trains one-on-one with other players throughout the region.
Geoff Petrie gave him a shot this summer, and here's what Johnson has to say about it:
"I'm really excited about having this opportunity to showcase my talent, thanks to Geoff Petrie. For those of you who'd like to know what my outlook is on basketball; I believe that defense is the ultimate offense. If you've noticed, a majority of the players put all of their focus into offense but put absolutely no emphasis on improving their defensive skills. I appreciate someone who has the courage to go hard on BOTH sides of the floor--or at least try. I believe that anyone can throw the ball up and just by luck, it can go in. But if you have D, you can actually put a halt to all of their luck. Therefore, you never lose."
I asked David (through his wife Jessica -- who I should thank for all the info and the photo) if his goal in Las Vegas is to get notice by a D-League team or European club.
"My ultimate goal is not to go to D-League, nor Europe. Rather, it's to become a Sacramento King. I'd love to be a part of a great franchise."
The odds are extremely tough -- the Kings have 13 guaranteed contracts already, not counting the second-round picks -- but Vegas has been surprising before. We wish David luck in Vegas and wherever else basketball takes him.