Tyreak Johnson chose Howard over Central Connecticut, Stony Brook, Holy Cross and Bowling Green. Photo by Damion Reid
Written By: Dylan Butler (fiveborosports.com)
Tyreak Johnson wasn’t just interested in going to a college to play basketball. The St. Raymond’s senior was looking to attend a school with high academic standards, somewhere that will prepare him for life after basketball.
He found that in Howard University.
“It was really family-based,” Johnson said. “It’s good to go to a school that really wants you, that they’ll do anything for you. When I went to Howard, they were talking more about my future and not so much about the basketball team.”
On Friday, the 6-foot point guard ended an arduous process and signed a letter of intent with Howard, the historic black college in Washington D.C. Johnson chose Howard over Central Connecticut, Holy Cross, Stony Brook and Bowling Green.
“It was a stressful situation, going from school to school, hearing from different people you know, thinking they want you, stuff like that,” Johnson said. “It’s a vibe you get talking to certain schools, realizing who just wants a player versus someone who really cares about you and wants you to do good in life. That’s what I got from Howard.”
Johnson took an official visit two weeks ago with his family and immediately fell in love with the school. He then spoke with coaches Oliver Antigua at St. Raymond’s and Dwayne Mitchell with the Gauchos, as well as his family and decided that Howard would be the best fit.
“We all really liked the school, the whole atmosphere, the historical aspect of it,” Johnson said. “It’s a real good school.”
Its proximity to his Bronx home was also a plus.
“It’s better than a 12-hour flight to the middle of nowhere,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who averaged 14 points and four assists per game and shot 40 percent from 3-point range while maintaining a 3.4 grade point average, is expected to get major playing time from the start for the Bison.
“It’s a great fit,” Antigua said. “They have a lot of talent returning, but the missing piece is a point guard. He’ll have a chance to come in as a freshman and play a lot of minutes. He took a visit last week and loved the place. I’m really proud to be able to send one of our players down there to play.”
Ten players return from a Howard team that went 8-23 and 6-10 in the MEAC last year. The Bison are coached by Gil Jackson, who recently completed his fourth season at Howard after 16 years as an assistant at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I know I can dominate that league, get my team to where they want to go to,” Johnson said. “It’s a real good thing for me and my family to finally find a school that supports my career. I feel I can come in there, get guys open. When you have a point guard coach like Gil Jackson, he’ll be looking out for me and wants the best for me. It’s something I can vibe with.”
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