Meechie Johnson Jr., a four-star point guard in the class of 2021 who is close with LeBron James, committed to play at Ohio State this week.
How is Johnson related to LeBron?
James is commonly referred to as the nephew of the Los Angeles Lakers star. The high school player, whose full name is Demetrius, told Overtime in December 2018 James and his father, Meechie Johnson Sr., grew up together.
James told reporters the same in 2017, and said’s also known Johnson’s uncle, Sonny Johnson Sr., his whole life. Johnson Sr. coaches the Garfield Heights team, which includes his son, Sonny Johnson Jr.
James attended St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron and Johnson played for Garfield Heights 40 minutes north. Johnson Sr. played collegiate ball at Kent State and Indiana-Purdue of Fort Wayne.
— Demetrius Johnson (@HWBBall15) March 22, 2018
James has referenced Johnson as his nephew over the years on social media, including after the then-freshman’s 50-point performance against a top-ranked team in December 2017.
Way to work nephew!!! 50 ball. Oh and by the way he's a freshman https://t.co/FfUE6Ujdqg
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 9, 2017
James was in the stands with Dwyane Wade and J.R. Smith days prior for Garfield’s season opener. Johnson Sr. told the Columbus Dispatch last summer his son is friends with James’ son, Bronny, and talks regularly with Wade.
“Dwyane Wade talks to him a lot and tries to keep things real and let him know that you’ve got to keep working,” Demetrius Johnson said. “Everything is about his work. If you want certain things in life, you’re going to have to work.”
In January 2018, he told his nephew to use missing out on the McDonald’s All-American game as motivation.
Johnson commits to Buckeyes
Johnson made the announcement in a Twitter video posted to his father’s page after they took an unofficial visit to the school Tuesday, reported Adam Jardy of the Columbus Dispatch.
“I mean, the coaches were always calling me, hitting me up, just checking on me constantly,” Johnson Jr. said, via the Dispatch. “I just got the feeling, man. I really got the feeling like I wanted to be there. I told my dad I wanted to get down there and do it right.”
Ohio State first offered before he played a single game in high school. His father played under two coaches currently at OSU.
Blessed day for me and my family! I would like to take the time to thank ALL of the coaches who ever texted, called and offered my son. We’re truly blessed and grateful. With that being said, Meechie committed to The Ohio State University. Go BUCKS, we are staying home! pic.twitter.com/UpBaYL3hx3
— Demetrius Johnson (@HWBBall15) August 13, 2019
Johnson, at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, is ranked No. 71 in the class, per the 24/7 Sports Composite Rankings. He averaged 23 points per game as a sophomore before going down with a knee injury he is still rehabbing. He told the Dispatch he expects to be fully healthy for his junior season.
Johnson is the second player to commit to the school in his class. The first was Kalen Etzler, a five-star recruit from Ohio.
He reportedly had offers from Louisville, Georgetown, Miami University and fellow Big 10 schools.
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