Johnson heads to Highline CC [Basketball]

July 6, 2013

The plan was always to play college basketball, but when Xavier Johnson of Anchorage didn’t get any firm commitments he took matters into his own hands.

He signed up with Alaska Exposure Senior Trip and toured NWAACC schools in Washington and Oregon, where the Alaska kids played open gym in front of coaches with hopes of landing a scholarship.

“I really didn’t have any offers until I went on the trip with Jim Young,” Johnson told me.

He does now.

Johnson, of East High fame, has accepted a scholarship offer from Highline Community College, a NWAACC school in Des Moines, Wash.

Highline finished 11-15 last year. The team is getting a champion in Johnson.

The 6-foot-2 guard was an all-region playmaker who averaged 15 points a game and helped the T-birds capture the ASAA Class 4A state title. He pumped in 16 points in the title game, a 66-59 victory over No. 1 Service.

He said playing in front of college coaches was no big deal – even if his future was hanging in the balance.

“It wasn’t nerve-wrecking at all,” he said. “I wanted to play college basketball, so basically it was play or go home, and so I had to go out there and show what I had.”

Johnson secured a scholarship and an opportunity to be Highline’s starting shooting guard for the upcoming season.

“When I talked with the coach, he wants me to make an immediate impact,” Johnson said. “He thinks that I can get in there and produce and help the team.”