Sean Miller has recruited another gem to Arizona in 2014 Stanley Johnson, a 6’7 phenom out of California’s Mater Dei High School. Johnson announced today on ESPNU that he intends to play for the University of Arizona. He chose the Wildcats over Kentucky, Florida, Oregon, and USC.
“I’ve liked Arizona for a long time,” Johnson told PGU. “I felt comfortable with the staff, the team, the campus, everything.”
One of the most coveted recruits in the country, Johnson saw tons of attention from the best basketball schools in the nation. But at the end of the process, he said that Arizona did the best job recruiting him.
“I really appreciate all the schools and coaches that recruited me,” he said. “Arizona recruited me for a long time, and they really wanted me. They built a really good connection and I feel like I know what’s going on there because of how well I know the staff and players.”
Johnson, who has visited the UA campus multiple times, said he’s looking forward to college life in Tucson.
“It’s a great basketball town, and the college atmosphere is great. People love basketball in Tucson, and it’s just a great place to live and go to school,” Johnson said.
Ultimately, Johnson said that his decision was about winning and improving as a basketball player.
“I was looking for a lot of things in a college,” he said, “most of all I wanted to go somewhere I could win games and develop my skills and play against the best players.”
Playing alongside talented players who could compete for a National Championship was a key element in Johnson’s choice to play for Arizona.
“As a competitive person you always want to go up against the best every day, in games but also in practice because it just makes you that much better,” he said. “It was important to me to choose a school where we could win a National Championship and compete at the highest level.”
Known for his rare combination of size, strength, speed, and versatility, Johnson is special player that is one of the Wildcats’ best commits in recent years. Johnson can immediately contribute at multiple positions, and provides a level of scoring punch that few incoming freshmen can match.
“I want to come in and contribute in whatever ways I can, just do whatever it takes to win,” Johnson said.
Perhaps most impressive about Johnson is not his tremendous physical frame, high basketball IQ, or perimeter skills. What separates Johnson is his tireless work ethic. Considered by many to be the nation’s most improved player over the last year and a half, Johnson went from a top 25-35 prospect to a near unanimous top 10 ranking.
Johnson is a product of the illustrious Oakland Soldiers AAU program, considered among the most elite in the country. He played three years of AAU basketball, even making the cut as a freshman playing against the best sophomores and juniors in the country.
The Oakland Soldiers also produced current Wildcats Nick Johnson, Brandon Ashley, and Aaron Gordon.