Donda Academy’s AJ Johnson is one of Kenny Payne’s most important targets for the 2023 Recruiting Class.
Five-star combo guard and highly sought after Louisville prospect AJ Johnson decided to reschedule his visit to Louisville due to a sickness in his family. Johnson was one of the highly anticpated recruits set to be on campus this past weekend for Louisville basketball’s kickoff event for the season Louisville Live.
While Johnson’s decision not to come was heartbreaking for Card Nation, it seems he has his priorities in the right place. The high school senior could have easily come to Louisville Live, an annual event for Louisville basketball. But he decided to put his family first over basketball.
For an athlete his age with his explosive talent, this says a lot about who he is as a person. If he does decide to lace up for the Cardinals, Coach Kenny Payne and staff will be fortunate to have someone of his character and talent on their roster.
A lot of young athletes do not have their priorities in line or even know how to do so at that age, but Johnson is showing maturity beyond his years with this decision. The 6-foot-5 point guard was not the only recruit who had to reschedule their visit. Five-star small forward prospect Carter Bryant also was unable to make it to Louisville Live for an unknown reason.
According to 247 Sports, Louisville is the top listed school for AJ Johnson on his profile. So there is no need to worry about his inability to come to Louisville Live yet. He is still high on the Cardinals and if there is one thing Kenny Payne brings to the table, it is his reputation and love for Louisville and the players.
In an interview with On3, AJ explained what is most important to him in signing with a team:
"“I’m going to be looking closely at the coaches who show the most love,” AJ Johnson told On3. “The ones I feel have my best interest in mind and want me to become a better basketball player and better person.“I want to play in a system that lets me play fast and free and with a coach who will coach me hard. A coach who lets his guards play free will be big for me. Especially being a big guard, that lets me make more plays for the team.”"
These are desires that Coach Payne can fulfill. KP loves his players and will coach them hard. The possibility for AJ to sign with the Cardinals is looking very promising.