Carlos Johnson has big basketball goals, and now has a clear path to pursue them.
The Benton Harbor star announced his commitment to play college basketball at Butler last week. The three-time all-state player led Benton Harbor to the 2018 Class B state title, and he can now turn his attention to bringing home another title for the Tigers before moving on to college and perhaps someday the NBA.
“It’s definitely a relief before the season starts,” Benton Harbor coach Corey Sterling said. “That was always the goal.
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team. We have the capability to win a state championship.”
Sterling added that Johnson’s individual goals include winning Michigan’s Mr. Basketball. Two Benton Harbor players have won the award — current Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler in 2005, and Anthony Miller in 1990.
Johnson drew significant recruiting interest. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and former Michigan coach John Beilein both attended Benton Harbor games last season. Sterling said Johnson had developed a good relationship with Beilein before he left in the offseason to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Sterling said Johnson visited those schools as a junior and took visits to Butler, DePaul, and Western Michigan this year.
Johnson was ranked as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, and the 106th best player in the country. Butler’s recruiting class is ranked seventh nationally. The Bulldogs are 37-31 in two seasons under coach LaVall Jordan, a former assistant at Michigan.
Johnson showed the ability to play all five positions at Benton Harbor. He is listed as a small forward by Rivals.
“Butler’s got high hopes for him to be a wing player,” Sterling said.
“That’s what he played with his AAU team. He’s going to be able to contribute and play right away. They’re losing a lot of guys.”
Sterling believes Johnson can play professionally after college, and Butler can help get him there.
“I think this choice he made is a positive note on reaching his goal of the NBA,” Sterling said. “I think Butler’s got the right tools to get him ready.”
Contact: bsanders@TheHP.com, 429-1294, @HPBenSanders