Rapid City standout joins SDM men’s hoops team
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
SD School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s basketball program along with head coach Jason Henry are pleased to announce that Rapid City native Carl Johnson recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the Hardrockers starting in the 2008-09 season.
Johnson will transfer into the Hardrocker program as a junior after playing two years for Montana State University-Billings. Standing 6-foot-10-inches tall, Johnson will join a Hardrocker team that needs a player of his size and caliber.
“Carl definitely fits one of the spots we needed to fill,” Henry said. “We are coming off a season where we were forced to play a lot of younger guys. Carl brings two years of college basketball experience to our program and he is a big body with rebounding and defensive skills -- which we need.”
Rapid City native Carl Johnson, front left, recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball for the South Dakota School of Mines. Pictured with Carl, front row, is: Hardrocker head basketball coach Jason Henry. Back row, from the left, are” Kellie Wendt (fiancée), Susan Johnson (mother), Greg Johnson (father) and Isaac Johnson (brother). Photo by Brad Blume
Johnson was a starter as a sophomore for MSU-Billings, where he led the team in blocks and had the most offensive rebounds that year.
“Carl will come in and help us right away,” Henry said. “It’s nice to have a guy with two years of college level experience. It should help in our maturing process. We had a lot of youth on our team this past season. Carl is older and has been around the block. He brings in that experience that we need.” SD Mines’ roster listed seven freshmen on the team this past year. And with only one senior in the program the ‘Rockers matured at a rapid rate and had some growing pains in the process.
“I am excited about our freshman getting all that game experience,” Henry added. “But we did have a hole to fill.”
In the Dakota Athletic Conference this past season, the Hardrockers ranked last in total rebounds, averaging just under 30 a game, and also were on the bottom of the league in total blocks for the year with 34.
“With the addition of Carl, it frees up some of our other guys to do other things --- things that they are good at,” Henry said.
Johnson played high school hoops for Rapid City Christian his freshman-junior years and was at Rapid City Central as a senior. For the Cobblers, Johnson averaged 12 points and nine rebounds a game. He was second team all conference and an all state honorable mention. He helped RCC to the state tournament and aided in winning the district championship at Central.
For the Comets, Johnson averaged 16 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was all conference first team and an all state honorable mention. He had four triple doubles (all with blocks) set a school record with 14 blocks in one game. He was the team MVP, part of the district championship team and named to the West River Tournament Team.
“It’s great having a local kid,” Henry said. “That’s how we like to recruit. Some times it’s a little more difficult because of the academic standards, but Carl is a good student and will be a good student athlete for us.”
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