Two-sport standout Johnson picks Indiana Wesleyan, baseball
He was all-conference in two sports in high school, but Parker Johnson of Anchorage will hang up the basketball shoes in exchange for baseball cleats.
The South High senior standout will continue his baseball career at Indiana Wesleyan University, a NAIA school in Marian, Indiana.
But first he’s got some more business to handle with the Wolverines.
“I’m hoping to lead our team to another title and reach our potential as a team,” Johnson told me.
The 6-footer was a first team all-league pick in the Cook Inlet Conference in basketball as a senior shooting guard and a first team all-state pick in baseball as a junior.
He was also selected to the Team of Excellence for Alaska Legion South Post 4 and named to USA Today’s All-America team for Alaska.
Johnson was recruited to play shortstop for Indiana Wesleyan, but still wants to pitch as well.
“At least freshman year,” he said.
Last year, Johnson threw a shutout in a 4-0 win over Southeast Conference champion Sitka in the semifinals of the ASAA state tournament. He scattered six hits and three walks over seven innings of work.
A perennial power, the South Wolverines play the role of favorite every season because of all-stars like Johnson.
“We have a group of guys that have played together since the first time we picked up a glove,” he said. “I think that chemistry really shines through onto the field. Having all of these lifelong friends in the program is a huge source of motivation towards us getting better on and off the field.”
The high school baseball season begins at the end of April.
Having his college decision already made will help Johnson focus on the task at hand.
He feels Indiana Wesleyan was the right school for many reasons.
“It’s the right fit not only on the baseball level but also academically, being that they have a great pre-med program and my long-term goal is med-school,” he said. “It’s also a Christian school too, which also contributed to my decision.”
Last season, Indiana Wesleyan won 37 games and advanced to the NAIA national tournament.
“I’m real excited to get down and capitalize on this opportunity to compete at a higher level,” Johnson said. “Baseball in Alaska has grown a lot in the past couple of years and I’m proud to be one of the many to go on to the next level.”