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AJ Johnson Q&A

Credit: @thansen.visuals (IG)

The Pangos All-American Camp is an invite-only event and has long served as a premier stage for high school players to showcase their skills and talents in front of NBA teams, national scouts and media outlets. Pro Insight spent the week in Las Vegas and caught up with AJ Johnson of Taft High School (CA) and Jalen Green Elite (CA). Throughout camp, Johnson showed off his athleticism and skill set en route to 16.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, earning him a Top-60 Cream of the Crop Game nod.

Johnson has trained alongside Jalen Green (Houston Rockets) over the years and is someone he looks up to and considers to be a big brother. Based on his play this spring on the adidas 3SSB circuit and in Vegas at Pangos, Johnson looks more ready than ever to carve out his own name as he enters a big month of July playing in front of hundreds of college coaches with Jalen Green Elite. During his junior season at Taft, the 6’5” guard averaged 16.7 points, 4.7 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.5 steals per game in over 20 games played. Take one look at the 17-year-old prospect and it’s easy to see that his best basketball is far ahead of him.

As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Johnson discussed his relationship with Jalen Green, what he’s looking for in a college program, his desire to play basketball and more.

For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2023 prospect AJ Johnson, from Fresno, California:

Pro Insight: What are you hoping to prove here at Pangos All-American camp?

AJ Johnson: To prove that I can compete with the best players and that I am one of the top players.

PI: For someone who hasn’t seen your game, how would you describe it?

AJ: I make plays for others, I get paint touches, I play the game the right way.

PI: What would you say is the most underrated part of your game?

AJ: My passing ability, me making the right plays.

PI: Over the next year, what are you hoping to focus on the most?

AJ: My shooting and getting stronger.

PI: In terms of college or alternate post-high school options, what are you looking for both on and off the court?

AJ: A coach that will coach me hard, hold me accountable, and teach me to be the best player and man I can be.

PI: Is there a specific playstyle that you prefer?

AJ: A team that plays fast, a lot of pick-and-roll, a lot of moving the ball.

PI: What schools have you been hearing from the most recently?

AJ: LSU, Louisville, Xavier, Arizona State, USC, Creighton, Texas, and Texas Tech.

PI: Is there any program that you like to hear from that hasn’t reached out yet?

AJ: Kentucky.

PI: Could you share a little bit about your background and where you’re from?

AJ: I’m from Fresno, California. I went to school out there for a year, then I transferred to Taft in L.A.

PI: Obviously, you’re really close with Jalen [Green], could you describe your relationship with him?

AJ: That’s my big brother, my mentor, I’ve known him since I was 10 years old. Fresno is really small, so we call each other brothers.

PI: What is one way that Jalen has helped you?

AJ: Seeing his pathway, the work he put in, the way he played and the work he put in has helped a lot. The talks that we have also help a lot.

PI: What made you start playing basketball?

AJ: I fell in love with the game at a super young age, watching people in the NBA like Kobe and Michael Jordan.

PI: Did you play other sports growing up?

AJ: I ran track and cross country, but basketball is the first real sport I played.

PI: Who has been your biggest role model?

AJ: For sure Jalen. All my big brothers in Fresno.

PI: What are you most passionate about off the court?

AJ: I just enjoy hanging with my friends, just chilling with them having fun.

PI: What is something that most people don’t know about you?

AJ: I am super laid back and chill, I like to have fun.

PI: If basketball wasn’t an option, what is a career you would want to pursue?

AJ: I would probably be a coach — either coach the game or train, I just love the game.

PI: Who are your top-five artists right now?

AJ: Lil Baby, Gunna, Future, Beno, and Drake.

PI: Favorite shoes to wear on and off the court?

AJ: Off the court, Yeezy slides and Jordan 4s. On the court, I love to wear Kobes.

PI: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

AJ: In the NBA for sure, that’s the goal.


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