6’2” 2018 Malik Johnson – Now is the Time, the Blow Up is Coming
Terry Sanford (NC)
By Jamie Shaw
By all accounts, Malik Johnson is a natural born winner. As a freshman, sophomore he played in two NCHSAA 3A state championships (winning one) and now as a senior he will be the starting point guard for Terry Sanford, vying for a third trip to the state championship game.
He has an innate toughness to him that every college coach, at every level wishes their players had, but you cannot teach a player. His intangibles are off the charts, which plays a part in his continued success at each level.
Every year, Johnson has steadily progressed in his game. He has always been blessed with blinding quickness and high level athleticism, over the past year Johnson has developed most notably with his pace on the ball and his ability as a knock down jump shooter.
The North Carolina Top 80 is thought of as the most prestigious camp in the state of North Carolina. Its objective is to bring together the best players the state has to offer, regardless of class, public or private, and have them compete against one another under one roof. After Johnson’s first performance in the North Carolina Top 80 we wrote, “Malik Johnson made a name for himself Saturday afternoon. After watching him battle with some of the state’s top guards, it was easy to determine that this kid is going to be a star in the coming years. Johnson is extremely explosive and used his abnormal quickness to blow by defenders and make quick, shifty plays to run the offense. He handles the ball extremely well and is a VERY advanced for a player his age. Johnson proved he is a defender’s nightmare by driving strong to the basket and using his strength to draw contact and finish with ease. His court vision was flat-out impressive. The 6’0” frosh distributed the rock all afternoon long to a variety of teammates and proved to us he isn’t afraid of any competition. Defensively, Johnson is an animal. He communicated well with teammates and applied tight pressure to force countless amounts of turnovers against several opponents.”
That is right, Malik Johnson is a two-way force of nature. A winner, with innate toughness who plays with great pace, natural explosion and is considered a knock down shooter with deep range. He has won, and competed, on the biggest stage so it is not like he is a hidden player. Phenom Hoops has Johnson rated as a high major prospect while ranking him among the state of North Carolina’s top 15 prospects in the LOADED 2018 class.
After watching Johnson this summer, at a team camp, his growth on the court was undeniably, “Johnson has always had the tools, leading with an incredibly mental toughness. Not only does he want to the ball in his hands on offense, he also wants to guard the opposing teams top perimeter player. He has always been supremely athletic, jet-quick off the bounce and had a tight handle on the ball. Well now the game has slowed down for him and he has taken it to a new level. He navigates traffic great in the paint. At UNC Pembroke Team Camp he showed the ability to knock down the jump shot with range and consistency. He still has that supreme athleticism, jet-quick first step and big time mental toughness. Now, Malik Johnson is one for high majors to watch.”
Right now, Johnson’s recruitment is still waiting to take off. He carries offers from VCU, Rhode Island and Western Carolina. Johnson has all the tools.