Arizona Wildcats coach Sean Miller did not express concern Tuesday that forward Sidiki Johnson — one of the team’s three signed high school recruits for next season — has left Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
Johnson has returned home to New York City, where he will finish the academic year at Wadleigh, a public high school in Harlem, N.Y. He will not play basketball there.
“These days, there are so many young kids who leave home to go to school,” Miller said.
“In Sidiki’s case, being able to return home at this time is a really positive thing in his own home life. He returns home to the school, really, in his neighborhood. … It’s in his best interest to return home where he’s from.”
Johnson, according to various reports, either violated a team rule at Oak Hill or left for family reasons. Miller called it a “personal, family decision.”
Either way, it wasn’t necessarily the year Johnson had envisioned, as he missed significant time with a foot injury.
“Sitting out 10 weeks, nine weeks, with a broken foot and being away from home is hard for any young kid,” Miller said. “But I’m confident that he will finish strong and be here this summer.”
Miller expressed confidence that Johnson’s transfer would not endanger his eligibility at Arizona.
“He’s in good academic standing. It’s not as if we necessarily worry about him qualifying. He’s been a good student since ninth grade.”
Johnson originally played with St. Raymond High School in his native Bronx, N.Y. He transferred to St. Benedict’s in New Jersey for his junior season. Before this year, Johnson transferred to Oak Hill.