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Five Questions/Quick Hitters: Justin Johnson

09/30/2022, 2:15pm CDT
By Chuck Thompson

This edition of Five Questions & Quick Hitters is with Justin Johnson. Justin is part of the Prep Girls Hoops team, covering North Dakota. We thank the talented writer and scout for joining us, thanks Justin!

 

1. What got you into sports writing, specifically in your role with Prep Girls Hoops, covering North Dakota?

I’ve been involved in the “Basketball Scene” for quite some time, as our family got more involved with High School/AAU I really started reading up and looking at the other teams/stats from around North Dakota. Not long after that Spencer from PGH reached out and asked if I would be interested in covering ND/Class A for Prep Girls Hoops and doing my best to cover the great talent we have in the state.

 

2. You probably noticed this before a lot of regional and national writers, but North Dakota is on a major uptick in their development of high level basketball players. What are some of the reasons you see that has helped North Dakota make a big jump up on the national girls basketball scene?

In North Dakota there has been a big development of not only players, but training and facilities as well. Players are fortunate enough to have the ability to train with Mark Kinnebrew/IPT, Sanford Pentagon, Earnest Elite and a few others. With these programs and skill development, its really helping produce some great talent. Not only that, but when younger kids see the type of awesome players they have in their home town, it drives them to want to be the same, and follow those footsteps. I think that is one thing I really see taking place around the state, and I hope it doesn’t slow down. Over the last 4-5 years we have really started pushing out some top talent.

 

3. What are some of the things that you would consider highlights of getting to cover girls basketball?

Traveling, getting to watch and see these players develop over the years and meeting more people. It’s always fun to see how much better a player has gotten over the last year or years. Some of these players I’ve seen play numerous times since they were 3rd-4th grade, and seeing where they are now is pretty awesome.

 

4. How much writing/evaluating do you do of kids outside of North Dakota, and would ever consider taking on more of a regional or national role if it ever presented itself?

Outside of North Dakota, not a whole lot…when I’m in MN for tourneys I’ll hit on a few that catch my eye, but I try to do as much for ND Players as possible. My goal was always to get their names out more and showcase the talent we have in our great state.

 

5. When you have free time what are some of the activities you like to do with your family (besides travel to basketball tournaments!)?

What’s free time? Lol, We have 4 kids…so if it’s not Basketball, it’s Football, Soccer and Volleyball. Aside from sports when we have the opportunity we enjoy spending time at the lake fishing, or on the pontoon. Anything to keep everyone just enjoying some down/fun times.

 

Quick Hitters:

1. Most unique (in a good way) gym you've seen in North Dakota: Watford City/Legacy are awesome.

2. Where did you grow up: Rose Hill, Kansas. (Rock Chalk Jayhawk)

3. Favorite location you've covered an event for Prep Girls Hoops: Battle of the Best (Des Moines)

4. Where is your next coverage going to be: PGH Sioux Falls

5. What do you listen to on long drives to watch/cover basketball: McKenna rules the radio

6. Go-to food/drink when covering a game: Mountain Dew!

7. Dream family vacation: Ireland

8. Favorite College women's player: Cameron Brink (she’s a stud)

9. Favorite WNBA player: Sue Bird

10. Favorite city you've ever lived in: Mandan!

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