Jamal Johnson makes it official, signs with Memphis

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Reporter

HOOVER – Spain Park senior basketball standout Jamal Johnson made his commitment to the University of Memphis official on Wednesday, Nov. 9, after he signed his national letter of intent to play for head coach Tubby Smith and the Tigers next year.

Johnson, considered a four star by many recruiting sites, verbally committed back on Sept. 12, but made it official by signing on the dotted line today. Other notable schools to offer the 6-4 shooting guard were Alabama, Auburn, UAB, Florida, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest.

“I went down to Memphis for an official visit and it just felt like home,” Johnson said. “Coach Smith just made it feel like home to me and I felt like it would be the best fit for me. The in state schools are really good, I just thought about which school fit me personally and that was Memphis.”

Johnson came to Spain Park as a sophomore with friend Austin Wiley wanting to dominate and be the best duo in the state to show how impressive their skillsets were, and now the day has finally come where his goals have been achieved.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid and it’s finally official,” Johnson said. “I’m extremely happy all of my hard work has paid off.”

Johnson, who averaged 18 points, 7 rebounds and 4.4 assists as a first team All-County junior for the Jags, will have to up his performance this year now that Wiley has departed for a Florida prep school.

“I can finally take a deep breath and focus on school ball and try to make a run at title this year,” Johnson said.

He said he has no doubt he thinks this team can win their area and make another run at a final four.

Johnson will join a nice class at Memphis who already have three big recruits for the 2017 class and still have several three, four and five star recruits considering.

Johnson and the Jags will tipoff their 2016-17 season on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., with a home matchup against Cornerstone.