For the past two and a half weeks, class of 2014 star center Dakari Johnson has been out of the country representing the United States on the U17 team that took home the World Championship Gold Medal in Lithuania yesterday.
But that doesn’t mean his recruiting process slowed down much.
“There’s nothing like representing your country,” the New York native told NRS. “It was a crazy, crazy experience. I just got back so I’m just now talking to colleges again but Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State and a lot more contacted me while I was gone.”
That list of schools contacting him seems to be the norm since the 6’11, 253-pound big man listed all of them among the programs coming after him the hardest. “The schools recruiting me the hardest are Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgetown, Syracuse, Ohio State, Louisville and a couple more,” he added.
That constant contact from the schools have paid off for them since Johnson says many of those programs will likely make his list when he narrows it down. “Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Georgetown, Syracuse, Ohio State, Louisville and a couple more will probably make it,” he said. “Those are the ones showing me the most interest. If they are interested in me that matters and shows a lot but I also want to be interested in the school too.”
Johnson knows when he wants to put that list together as well and about how many schools will be on it. “All the schools are even right now,” he added. “I will narrow it down to six or seven at the end of the summer, take visits and commit some time during my junior year. I want to get it over with.
“I want to visit Syracuse, Kansas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio State and Georgetown. They are all schools I’m interested in. I don’t like anyone the most, they’re all about the same. When I start taking visits I should get a better sense of who sticks out.”
While he takes those visits, he also knows what he’s looking for in his potential destination. “I want to go somewhere where it’s a family and a place that will get me better as a player,” Johnson remarked. “A style where the big man is effective on offense.”
*More: We got to watch Johnson during the Nike EYBL so here’s our evaluation:
The New York native was impressive as he displayed a terrific combination of skill and innate gifts. He has great size and good timing when blocking shots and finishes through contact well in the lane. He also displayed a 15-foot jumper that will significantly help his offensive game if he can knock it down on a consistent basis. However, one of the most impressive things about his game was good of shape he was in. You’d expect most guys his size to be the last one down the court but Johnson consistently ran the floor with the guards and was rewarded multiple times with an easy dunk at the other end.