July 1, 2006

Johnson talks about commitment

Over the past month, there's been a lot of talk about 6-foot-6 guard/forward Zane Johnson and how he would come to the Arizona Skill Camp trying to impress the UA coaches enough to earn an offer.

At the conclusion of the camp, he received a bit of good news.

"After camp, Coach (Lute) Olson told my mom and grandpa that he had an offer for me," said Johnson. "I committed right away and he told me 'welcome to the Arizona family.'"

Johnson grew up as an Arizona fan, making this a pretty special day for him.

"It means a lot," he said. "This is what I've wanted my whole life."

Rivals.com's 67th best player in the country, Johnson is known as a pure shooter who does all the little things to help his team win. He's a good kid, will get along great with his teammates and improve the squad's chemistry.

He came into Tucson with the mindset that he would prove to the Arizona coaching staff that he is capable of playing at the UA. While Johnson didn't play his best, he had a bit of an excuse.

"I didn't have a great camp," he said. "We had a workout on Thursday and my legs have been really stiff."

Future teammate Alex Jacobson and guard Kamyron Brown underwent that same workout and were noticeably sore for the next couple of days. Regardless, Johnson obviously did what he had to do to get his offer.

Johnson feels like he can help the Arizona program and is excited to compete for titles.

"I'm a shooter and a scorer," he said. "I can do everything. I want to win national championships and I'll do the little things to help the team win. For me, under Coach Olson, anything is possible. I see myself developing into a pro and going to the NBA."

Look for Johnson to play the two, three and even a little four in Tucson. The UA coaches have discussed the possibility of him playing in the post once he gains more weight.

"I definitely need to get stronger," said Johnson. "I want to be able to play shooting guard, small forward and maybe even some post. I'm still growing so I wan to get bigger and stronger."

What most people don't know about Johnson is that he's actually 16 years old and should be in the Class of 2008. That makes his upside much more intriguing and it's certainly one of the reasons the UA offered him a scholarship.

This weekend, Johnson had the opportunity to play with several future teammates, including fellow Class of 2007 commits Jamelle Horne and Jacobson. The trio had a good time hanging out together.

"I have a real good relationship with Jamelle and Alex," Johnson said. "We hung out all weekend and I get along with them really well. I'm real happy to be able to play with them."

On Saturday, July 1st, Johnson's lifelong dream was finally realized. He finally became a Wildcat.

"I'm as excited as you can be," Johnson said.




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