By LARRY VAUGHT
One reason that Florida signee Keyontae Johnson is playing at Oak Hill Academy this season is because he wanted to be on the same team as Keldon Johnson, a Kentucky signee.
The two have been friends for years and Keyontae Johnson wanted to spend this season on the court with him before they start playing against each other in college.
“Keldon will joke around a lot. He is a funny guy. On the court he changes his motor but off the court he is really funny,” the Florida signee said. “He will fit perfectly at Kentucky. He has a high motor and loves big games. He has a high motor, is always hyped before a game. He is a competitor UK is going to love.”
Keyontae Johnson went with Florida because he likes the fast-paced offense that coach Mike White uses.
“That helps me because I score off the fast break, so it will be good for me,” Keyontae Johnson said. “The reason I came here (Oak Hill) was to compete against the best and get ready for the next level — and to play with Keldon. He is a good teammate. We have played together since like fifth grade. I just wanted to play together one last time with him.”
Next season the two guards who can both impact a game in a lot of ways will play against each other on two of the Southeastern Conference’s best teams.
“I am going to win every game we play,” Keyontae Johnson joked. “I want to play him. We talk about it. We have bet $20 on who wins Kentucky and Florida this year.”
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith thinks the Johnsons will both be terrific players in college. He also believes Kentucky fans are going to love everything about Keldon Johnson.
“He wants to play at the highest level and play for money one day and felt Kentucky gave him the best opportunity to do that,” Smith said. “I think the fans are going to like him because of the way he plays, his spirit, his energy. His attitude is always good. If he gets mad, he is mad at himself. He doesn’t get mad at his teammates. He is just a hard playing kid.
“He’s very good on defense, too. We play him up on the ball. He does get mad at his teammates when they did not guard. He likes playing defense and being the guy up front on the press. He has long arms and he is making them throw lobs over him or we are getting deflections. He will really get after you on defense.”
Adair County freshman Zion Harmon played on the same AAU team with Keldon Johnson last summer. Harmon’s father, Mike, is a believer in Johnson’s defense.
“He can play defense, too. He’s long, athletic. I have seen him lock down on guys. He can check a center and push him out. I have seen him check smaller guards,” Mike Harmon said. “He is that glue piece. One thing you know is you will get 120 percent, he will compete until the end and he will lead his troops.”