UPDATES WITH QUOTE FROM OAK HILL COACH
Sidiki Johnson will play for four institutions in four years: Bronx St. Raymond (2007-09), Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict (2009-10), Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy (2010-11) and the University of Arizona (2011-12) (Sidiki Johnson photo)
The transfer of Sidiki Johnson to Mouth of Wilson (Va.) Oak Hill Academy, as reported by Zagsblog.com, is another positive development between Arizona and that storied college preparatory program.
Johnson messaged me that he is strong in his commitment to Arizona, and the move to Oak Hill will not change that.
“I’m looking forward to playing for a great school and program, and getting the best out of it,” wrote Johnson, who also noted that he communicates daily with Arizona’s New York-area players Lamont “MoMo” Jones and Kevin Parrom.
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith communicated to me through text message that he is, “excited to have Sidiki join our program at Oak Hill for his senior year. We hope to get him ready to attend Arizona in a year both as a player and a student.”
If he honors his verbal commitment to Arizona, Johnson, a Class of 2011 power forward, will become the sixth former Oak Hill player since 1988 to sign a national letter of intent with Arizona. The others are Orlando Vega (1988), Ben Davis (1991), Stephen Jackson (1996), Brandon Jennings (2008), and Jones (2009).
Vega and Jackson never played at Arizona because they did not become academically eligible. Jennings signed a contract to play professionally in Italy instead. Davis joined the Wildcat program after attending Florida, Kansas and Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College.
Jones became the first Oak Hill player to be an active Arizona roster member as a freshman. UA coach Sean Miller also recruited this season Jones’ former starting backcourt mate at Oak Hill, Doron Lamb, but Lamb opted to sign with Kentucky.
Johnson will transfer to Oak Hill from Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict’s Prep, which he attended last year after transferring from Bronx (N.Y.) St. Raymond. He is leaving St. Benedict’s because former coach Dan Hurley left to coach Wagner.
Bernard Bowen, Johnson’s father, told Zagsblog.com that he wants Johnson in the best possible position before advancing to Arizona.
“By (Hurley) leaving, I need to put Sidiki in a situation where he can get ready for college,” Bowen is quoted as saying. “We’re not playing for stats. We’re playing to get ready for college. It’s unfortunate that (Hurley’s) gone now.”
Oak Hill, which has a history of producing top Division I talent under Steve Smith, featured 10 alumni in this year’s NBA playoffs. The most notable among them are Jennings of Milwaukee, Carmelo Anthony of Denver, Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City, Rajon Rondo of Boston, Michael Beasley of Miami and Josh Smith of Atlanta.