Freshman phenom adds new dimension to North basketball

Posted: Updated:

North's Jackie Johnson III is lighting up high school gyms all across Wichita and he's just 14 years old. The freshman is may be the most advanced player his age his teammates have seen.

"Gotta say, Jackie might be the first. Yeah, might be the first," senior forward Ty Butner said.

Johnson III scored 29 points in a win over Kapaun Mt. Carmel on Tuesday night and through five games this season he is leading the City League in scoring.

"We knew coming in that he had a lot of skills, a lot of good ball handling and shooting skills and some of it is showing up now that we've started the season, but we knew coming in that he is a pretty good player," North head coach Gary Squires said.

Johnson III says he's getting plenty of looks from colleges already including Wichita State and Kansas. Translating his game to the high school level has been a bit tricky though.

"Physicality, I say, I mean, you've got dudes, seniors that are strong, real strong, so I say probably physicality," he said.

The addition of the freshman has helped his North squad. His teammates are enjoying the new dimension he adds.

"It's fun because now I know I can go down the court and expect crazy passes and I can expect alley oops and stuff now because I know he's the type of player that's going to bring that type of fun athletic basketball that I've been waiting on for four years," senior guard/forward Peyton Hatter added.

With those seniors playing their last year of high school ball, Johnson III wants to help escort them out with their ultimate dream.

"Go big or go home, everybody wants to take state this year so we've just got to go out and execute and do what we do," he concluded.

Johnson III and the 4-1 Redskins head to 5-0 Heights for a City League showdown this Friday night.