Former Sun Prairie star, current Duke freshman Jalen Johnson opts out rest of season
Johnson averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds over 13 games for the Blue Devils.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Duke freshman forward and potential 2021 NBA lottery pick, Jalen Johnson has opted of the remaining 2020-2021 season for the Blue Devils.
After reports emerged Monday evening of opt out decision made by the former five-star recruit out of Wisconsin, who played his first two seasons of high school basketball at Sun Prairie, the program released an official statement on Johnson’s decision.
“I appreciate everything about my time at Duke.” Johnson said in the statement, “My family. Coach and I have made the decision that I should not play the remainder of this season so I can be 100 percent healthy in preparation for the NBA Draft.”
“While we are encouraged by what we are seeing medically, for Jalen’s future, we believe this decision is in his best interest.” Duke head coach, Mike Krzyzewski said in the same statement.
Johnson battled a foot injury earlier this season, causing him to miss three games for Duke.
Johnson averaged 11.2 points and 6.1 rebounds while playing 21.4 minutes per game for Duke in the 13 games the athletic wing was healthy for. Duke has a 5-8 record in the 13 games Johnson played in this season. Duke is just 8-8 overall this year and 6-6 in the ACC.
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that there has been off-court issues between Johnson, his camp and Duke.
The former five-star recruit out of Wisconsin is projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming draft with some experts having Johnson going as high as seventh overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers. While others see Johnson going sixth to the Chicago Bulls.
Ranked No. 13 in ESPN’s 100 for the 2020 recruiting class, Johnson was Wisconsin’s No. 1 overall player and joined Duke out of Nicolet high school in Milwaukee. Johnson began his high school career at Sun Prairie where he earned all-state honors both years while leading the Cardinals to the Division 1 state semifinals his sophomore season.
Before his junior season, Johnson transferred to Nicolet where he won Wisconsin Player of the Year honors on his way to leading the Knights to a Division 2 state championship and No. 8 spot in the USA today’s national rankings. Johnson then transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida before his senior season but he never played a game of the prep sports powerhouse. Johnson then transferred back to Nicolet where he was able to play nine games before the 2020 boys basketball postseason was cut short due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.
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