Everyone knew about Cheyenne East (Wy.) High School small forward James Johnson after the NIKE All American Camp this summer, but it was the connection that Wake Forest established as early as his sophomore season that gave the Demon Deacons the edge.
"They have wanted me since my sophomore season," said Johnson, who is 6-foot-8, 215-pounds. "Wake Forest was there before the NIKE Camp, and that was a big factor. I also liked everything there from the players to the coaches to the gym to the gear."
Bradley and Wyoming were also involved with Johnson before this summer, and he was considering offers from Kansas, Maryland and Cincinnati. But the only campus other than Wake Forest's that he visited was Wyoming's campus on an unofficial visit.
"He's always liked Wake Forest, but I wouldn't say they were the leader all along," said Cheyenne East head coach Damon Artery. "He was closely considering those other schools, but after visiting Wake Forest, he felt they had everything he wanted."
Extremely athletic and talented, Johnson has most impressed Coach Artery with his competitive drive and ability to excel under pressure.
"James is very athletic and can jump, shoot and handle," said Artery. "He also is a strong finisher. But the best thing about him is his competitiveness. He will take over a game and do whatever it takes to win."
In fact, Johnson led his team to a state championship last year while averaging 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3.5 assists per game.
"James is a versatile player who will play a lot of positions and score points for Wake Forest," commented Artery. "He also has a chance to play in the NBA. He just needs to keep improving his overall game and keep improving his shot. It has improved drastically since just last season, and he hit five three-pointers in the state championship game."
Johnson is the No. 74 ranked prospect in the Rivals150.