The state of Kentucky is full of solid, young high school basketball prospects.
Several of those prospects are projected to potentially be high-major players, including Woodford County High School sophomore Jasper Johnson. He’s the son of former University of Kentucky All-SEC defensive end Dennis Johnson.
The 6-foot-3 Johnson – also a football standout for the Yellowjackets – stood out recently at the Titans Rockets Summer Shootout at Collins High School and among the schools that were tracking him – Louisville.
“I have played well,” the younger Johnson said. “I’m excited about it all.”
It’s still early in the process for Johnson, but he said Louisville, Memphis, and Radford have all recently started to show some interest in him on the hardwood. His first offer came from Radford, but the interest is starting to pick up.
“They just tell me to keep working and stay on top of my schoolwork,” Johnson said. “They tell me to keep doing what I am doing, keep working hard, try to work on my body, and stay focused.”
But is his future on the basketball court?
Jasper Johnson also stars as a defensive back and could be the starting quarterback for the Woodford County team this fall. He visited U of L for football last summer.
His father, Dennis Johnson, was a three-sport standout at Harrodsburg High School and was named national high school football player of the year as a senior. He went on to star at UK and play in the NFL and is now the athletic director and football coach at Woodford County High School.
“I enjoy football, but I think basketball is where I am the best at,” the younger Johnson said.
Added Dennis Johnson: “He’s kind of found his little niche. I think basketball is his future.”
Louisville assistant coach Josh Jamieson watched Johnson multiple times at the Collins event, while Nolan Smith also saw him. The Cardinals’ are expected to see him at on the EYBL circuit next month.
The elder Johnson smiled when asked what he thought about Louisville recruiting his son, noting “it’s his decision.”
“I did grow up a Kentucky fan but just because my family went there doesn’t mean anything,” the younger Johnson said. “It wouldn’t bother me if I didn’t go there. I will have to make the best decision for me, no matter where it’s at.”
Added his father: “I want every kid to do what’s best for them, no matter what. I am not going to tell him where to go and his mother is a Yeast, so there’s some Louisville in there.”
As a freshman, Johnson averaged 13.8 points a game and hit 51 percent from the field. His superb athleticism was on display during the Collins event, helping him get to the basket with ease. He’s likely a point guard in college.
“I feel like I still need to keep working hard on my body and my strength,” Jasper said. “It helps me get to my spots better.
“My athleticism helps a lot because it helps me with my balance and my just being able to get to where I need to be.”
This content was originally published here.