Harvard picked up a key verbal commitment on Tuesday. Corey Johnson, of Saxtons River (Vt.) Vermont Academy, committed to Tommy Amaker and his staff just a few days after his official visit.
Just a day before the initial signing period is set to begin, Corey Johnson, a 6-foot-6 wing out of Saxtons River (Vt.) Vermont Academy, informed Scout.com that he has committed to Harvard.
“From a basketball standpoint and building the relationship with coach Amaker in the little time that I knew him, that was really big for me,” Johnson told Scout.com when pressed about his decision.
“He was constantly talking to me and messaging me,” he added. “He even came up to see me one day when I wasn’t playing and was talking to me about basketball and how I would fit with the team and how possibilities would be endless with the team. That always stuck to me.”
Johnson considered a host of schools, but the only other official visit he took was to Butler. He then went to Harvard on a visit this past weekend. That trip pushed him to commit.
“After the visit this weekend and with my dad seeing it and my mom as well, they both think it’s a great fit basketball wise and academic wise,” he said. “They are both comfortable with it and so am I. That’s where I want to be.”
“I was still considering waiting until the spring time to sign, but just the recent interest that Harvard has had up until now and before this signing period and the feeling that they wanted me now, sets them apart from the other schools.”
Johnson, who is known for his ability to rip the nets from deep, says he’ll have the chance to fill a few different roles at Harvard.
“They are saying they have a great need for shooters, obviously I can bring that to the table, but also my ability to play off the ball and with the ball in my hands will help me expand my game.”
Johnson’s high school coach – Alex Popp – thinks he will bring much more than just shooting to the table as well.
“Corey has incredibly fluid jump shot with a text book release, and this often distracts people from the rest of his game,” Popp said. “He is way more than a shooter.”
“He is dynamic off the bounce and also a great decision maker,” Popp added. “He is tougher than people think, too. He rebounds well in traffic. Last but not least, he is a high level leader - he is the definition of a coach on the floor.”
Johnson played summer ball with the Vidal Messiah’s Northern Kings. Messiah thinks the match is perfect.
“[Amaker’s] a great coach, better person and Harvard's getting a outstanding shooter and leader in Corey from an athletic standpoint," Messiah told Scout.com. "Academically Harvard was a no brainer for us to support.”
With the addition of Johnson, Harvard now has four commitments in the 2015 class. Tommy McCarthy, Weisner Perez and Balsa Dragovic are also committed to Tommy Amaker’s program.