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Johnson's college hoops stock continues to rise

Brooks Johnson played point guard in four games this weekend in an AAU tournament in the Twin Cities. Greg Johnson photo

College basketball coaches from across the nation are getting a good look at 2025 prospect Brooks Johnson during the current AAU season.

Whether it's at AAU elite tournaments in Kansas City last weekend, in Minneapolis this weekend, or in Sioux Falls next weekend, Johnson's stock is rising and already a few schools have offered scholarships.

“The Bulldogs and Northern Illinois, a D1, have offered, and Air Force reached out after this weekend,” said Johnson, a six-foot-5, 195-pound Duluth Marshall junior-to-be who stars for Minn Starks U17 National in the AAU circuit.

Johnson will likely have more D1 and D2 offers to consider by the time the AAU season ends later this summer.

“A lot of schools are reaching out, and I’ll make a final decision earlier than later – likely later this summer – on what school fits me the best,” said Johnson, a 4.0 student (on a 4.0 scale).

D2 Minnesota Duluth is solidly in the running, Johnson said on Sunday night.

“UMD assistant Ryan Kirsch attended three of our games in the Twin Cities this weekend and for the Bulldogs to pull the trigger on the scholarship offer so early, it all means a lot,” said Johnson, who is averaging about 17-18 points and eight rebounds for Starks, which has played 17 games in its scheduled 45-game spring and summer season.

“UMD is an amazing, elite D2 program,” Johnson added.

Johnson, when asked to define his game: “I’m a tall shooting guard at the U17 level, with a 41-inch running vertical jump. I like to come off ball screens and attack the rim, to score the basketball. I’m defensively solid, not elite, and I often guard our opponent’s best scorer. I’m working hard to further develop my guard skills, because unless I continue to grow 6-5 won’t cut it as a small forward at the next level. I’ve grown four inches since my freshman year and, obviously, I’d like to reach 6-8 or 6-9. We’ll see.”

Johnson said he credits legendary Starks coaches CJ Osuchukwu and Dyami Starks for his steady development.

“You should have seen me in 5th-grade, when I was awful,” said Johnson. “CJ and Dyami kept pushing, and though there were times when I wanted to quit the daily workouts they deserve all the credit for the opportunities that are coming my way. ETS (Performance) also has helped greatly in my weight training.”

“Brooks is a hardworking kid, and a perfect example of what happens when you just grind and grind,” said Osuchukwu. “Colleges are calling every day about him, from D2 to the mid-major level. The biggest thing for him is to continue to never get caught up in the hype, to remain super humble and just keep working hard.”

“Brooks Johnson is a thoroughbred D1 prospect and is reminiscent of the 2005-2015 span where we saw multiple elite D1 prospects in the Northland,” said Starks. “In terms of talent, he’s right up there with the former greats of our area: The Bromans, Steve Tecker, Chad Calcaterra, Johnny Woodard, etc. CJ has been the single most impactful piece to Brooks’ success. The two of them remind me of my pops and me!”