Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Defending national champion Kansas secured the first verbal commitment in the wake of its Late Night in the Phog event Friday night.
Elijah Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound point guard from Las Vegas (NV) Cheyenne, gave a verbal commitment to head coach Bill Self. He chose the Jayhawks over Texas and Oklahoma.
“I’m pretty excited,” Johnson told the Lawrence Journal-World Saturday night. “It was the best choice out there for me. In my opinion, it’s the best place to be.”
Johnson and his father, Marcus, both went to Lawrence for Late Night in the Phog and watched as the national championship banner was raised. Self previously had an in-home visit with the family and went to Las Vegas in July when Johnson played in the adidas Super 64.
“He’s liked Kansas since the third grade,” Marcus Johnson told the paper. “The family came out here with him and we can see why he likes it so much.”
Johnson was one of several elite prospects at Late Night, including Xavier Henry, Michael Snaer and Dominic Cheek, who did not commit despite rumors to the contrary. Some reports say Johnson grabbed the last available scholarship, but a Kansas source said the program was looking to bring in two additional players from this class. Kansas previously secured a commitment from 6-8 forward Thomas Robinson of Brewster (N.H.) Academy.
Yet with Johnson, the No. 5 point guard in the Class of 2009 in the picture, you have to think that Kansas is probably out of the running for John Wall, the No. 1 player in the Class out of Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.