Being a freshman and your team’s starting Point Guard for your varsity squad is a tall task, but it’s a task Jeremiah Williamson-Johnson hasn’t had any troubles with this year. Johnson is a standout freshman for his Putnam City North team in Oklahoma and has shown his abilities that had Bradley Beal Elite wanting to play for him and a number of schools already contacting him. Johnson is average almost 19 points a game as a freshman to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists a game. He was recently ranked at #50 in the top 100 by Van Coleman in his initial 2023 class rankings, a testament to his game and hard work.
We were able to catch up with Jeremiah and talk about his season with PCN, who he compares his game to, schools who have already made contact, and his goals heading into the spring and summer.
First off I’d just like to hear about how your freshman year has been and the learning process as a freshman playing varsity and his experience so far.
Freshman year has been great a lot different from middle school but definitely been a great experience for me so far. As for the learning process I feel it’s been an easy transition for me having my dad there with him being an assistant coach here to and kinda helping guide me along the way, sharing his experiences with certain situations and things. I think that has sped up my growth on the basketball court. We train every day after practice and we watch film as well so with him being there for me as well as a coaching staff that believes in me even though me being a freshman and understanding how much work I put into this game I think that’s allowed my transition to be pretty smooth.
You mentioned he’s an assistant coach for your team and you guys watch film together. How do you think that helps in growing and learning to improve?
Well my dad has always been honest with me about my game! What I need to improve on, what he sees each game that can help me next game and in the future, what I need to understand when I’m out there and so on. He’s always been like that with me since I was a little kid. My dad played division 1 basketball and played overseas and is a two time champion at the ABA level so I trust his views on the game. So I feel having that to talk to on a daily basis really helps me game by game because my basketball knowledge is able to expand more rapidly I feel.
Since the season started to now, what’s something that you feel like you’ve improved on just from your guys’ film sessions?
Well I really think I’ve improved a lot on my shooting and seeing that I have to keep my mechanics the same always which has allowed me to be more consistent. I also think it’s helped me a lot with seeing how teams are gonna try and guard me especially this season as it’s gone along I’ve seen a lot of no catch defense or sending two guys at me so it’s really helping me to understand how to still be aggressive in those situations rather if that’s to find my teammates or to keep myself going and put pressure on the other team. All still a work in progress but I feel like I’ve grown in those areas this season
How’s the season been going for you and your PCN team?
Season has been going well for me. Starting as a freshman point guard on varsity was one of my personal goals coming into high school and I was able to achieve that. Didn’t think starting off the season the game would come as easy to me as it has but I just say that’s a result of all the hard work I put in to prepare myself for high school. I’m not where I want to be yet and that’s ok but I feel I’m off to a great start and with continuous work I’ll continue headed in the right direction. As for the team I love these guys, we have a talented group. We have a group of juniors that all have playoff experience which is good so I think these next two years we could possibly win back to back state titles that would be crazy! But yes, the season has been going really well and I was blessed to pick up the chance to run with Bradley Beal Elite on the Nike EYBL this summer so I’m also excited for that opportunity.
I know Oklahoma is kind of rich in talent, will you guys play Booker T at all? Or more so, who’s been your toughest matchup so far this year?
Yes there is a lot of talent here. Lots of good players on multiple teams not just 6a basketball but all classes. We got to scrimmage BTW this summer way early on before the season got started which was fun for me getting to play them so early. Atmosphere was almost like a real game seemed like. But as for now we want play them unless we meet them somewhere down the road in playoffs which is coming up soon so depending on how things turn out we possibly could see them on are run for the title. As for are teams toughest matchup this year I would have to say Putnam City West on the fact we’ve played them 3 times this year already and they got us twice once at their place and once at ours. I had a really good outing at their place 22pts 5rbs 3ast but wasn’t enough to come away with the win but yes those guys are really good, have great players and also a great coaching staff. But I love playing those guys, coming into highschool that was one game I looked forward to the most coming into highschool over all others.
Who does PCW have? And if you had to describe your game/role to someone who’s never seen you play before, what would you say?
Well they have OSU commit Rondel Walker who’s also one of the top guards in the country on their team as well as a really good support cast.
And if I had to describe my game to someone I would say a Point guard that understands the game (high IQ), that can score the rock, and can facilitate the ball. I’ve got a few nice comparisons of who my game looks similar to (NBA guys) but I’m still young and working to get better but definitely felt good to hear and let me know my game is headed in the right direction.
Ahh Rondel. That’s definitely gotta be a good game. You said you have some comparisons, who do you try and model your game after?
Yes it’s funny his dad and my dad are great friends!!! He’s a senior now but when I was in middle school and he was starting highschool we used to train together at one of the local gyms and it’s crazy to think now where competing on the same court together. But that’s my guy, it’s all love always.
But the comparisons I’ve been told that my game is similar to are Darius Garland and Ja Morant probably with my athletic abilities being able to dunk as a freshman point guard already. But I’ve gotten those two comparisons of late.
My favorite player is James Harden because he’s the best scorer in the league to me. I like watching him so try to add a lot of him to my game. Also other guards like Trae young with his shooting and just game feel and also Dame lillard with his killer mentality and just creativity off the bounce. But I really just take pieces from a lot of peoples games that I like and try to add to my own but harden is my guy.
You mentioned Trae Young, he’s from Oklahoma, stayed in Oklahoma and now he’s having success. Is that someone you really like to follow and I guess kind of look up to?
As for Trae Young, I absolutely love following him. He’s a great player that worked hard to get where he is today. My dad and his dad are good friends and talk often. I’ve also been able to talk with his dad as well about basketball things and he’s given me great advice on how to always continue working, staying humble, and just keeping tunnel vision. So yes, Trae is definitely someone I look up to. I was also able to go to a lot of his games growing up and was also able to go to his McDonald’s all American game selection event they did at his highschool which was a great experience seeing. Also was able to be a part of his college selection event when he chose OU that was great as well. So yes, I definitely look up to him.
You played with Team Griffin last spring & summer, how was your experience with them?
It was great being able to play with those guys. Last season was my 3rd year with the program and just getting that experience playing on the EYBL circuit was crazy!! Going to those sessions was fun and taught me a lot and I feel really prepared me for my freshman year in highschool and also gives me a leg up on what to expect this summer on the circuit. So yes, a great group of guys and a great program!
Then you’re making the transition over to BBE, what kind went into that process and choosing to switch programs?
Well after talking it over with my Dad and family and just kinda laying out things the fit and opportunity was something we couldn’t pass up. Those guys over at BBE have made me feel like family already and I haven’t even gotten down there yet to meet everyone. The recruiter came up to have lunch with me and my dad and I really thought he was cool. But yeah, just the things and the vision they have laid out for me lines up with my vision for myself you know. So I just thought it was a great fit for me. My goal is to play high major college basketball then the NBA and I think BBE can really help me achieve these goals.
BBE is a great program, especially considering the amount of talent they’ve had come through their organization over the last 5 years as well. Did they talk with you about who you might be playing with and are you going to play up?
Absolutely!!! Their history was a huge deciding factor of me wanting to come as well. Love the way they develop players in to not only good college players but pros as well.
As for the roster they talked a lot with my dad on that and guys they have coming in or looking to add as well and I know with the 9th grade group from what my dad told me they got some good guys coming on board along with me as well so I think that group could be special. We also did talk some about me possibly playing up this year or definitely next year but all that’s still to be determined and if it’s not till next year I’m ok with that or if it’s this year same thing. With me and my dad it’s all about fit and which group I can play my game, grow and learn and continue to develop and half success and be recruited.
Do you think you’re ready for that jump and to play in the EYBL at that age?
Yes absolutely!! Like I said before that year of experience playing up last year with team griffin in the EYB plus all the work I put in I’m confident that I can compete at that level.
I know you’re just a freshman, but have you had any early contact with schools?
Yes I haven’t been able to talk to any but my dad has been contacted by Vanderbilt, California, Tulsa, Arkansas, La Tech and ORU. None have offered but they all have been showing interest and have been in contact with my dad and plan on following me through this process.
That’s big time. Assuming the initial message is that they’re just going track you until you get closer to really ramping up your recruiting. Is there a school that you’d eventually like to hear from?
Well to be honest it would be great to get an offer from any division 1 university. I would love that but a few schools that I’ve always liked are OU, UCLA, Duke, North Carolina, and Arizona. Those schools are pretty good to me.
I get that! Just gotta keep working. What’s a goal for you for the rest of the HS season and heading into spring/summer with AAU ball?
Yes sir absolutely!!! As for highschool, a personal goal of mine is to win 6A state freshman of the year which I think I have a good shot at doing. Also, to help lead our varsity squad as a freshman to another state championship this year.
As for spring/summer ball it’s a lot I’m excited about but I’m ready to get with the guys and get started with everything, start training with BBE and having a break out summer and putting the world on notice for the next 3 summers and winning some Peach Jams!