J3 – A basketball journey

Senior men’s basketball guard Jamie Johnson reflects on his basketball career


Tamar Kelly

IUS senior Jamie Johnson takes it to the rim against Ohio Christian University.

Jared Farris, Staff Reporter

IU Southeast senior Jamie Johnson (known as J3) has lead the young Grenadiers towards another potential River States Conference Championship this season. Voted to the All-River States Conference Preseason team which features the best players in the River States Conference, Johnson has excelled so far this season averaging 21 points per game to go along with 4.5 assists per game.

Johnson has had an illustrious career at IU Southeast. While he has played basketball since he was three years old, it wasn’t his first love.

Growing up, Johnson played whatever sport was in season. It wasn’t until his middle school years that he said he fell in love with the game.

“I was the number one player in the state as a fifth-grader. I had some success as a kid, but it wasn’t until middle school where I fell in love with the game and started watching players at higher levels,” Johnson said. “My favorite player was easily Steve Nash growing up.”

Johnson has been playing since he was young, but when he walked onto campus, he said he had the realization that he could play basketball at the highest of levels. At IU Southeast, Johnson was given the opportunity to go head-to-head with some well-known basketball players.

“I always felt like I could play at a high level but what really made me realize I could is the open gyms at IUS in the summer. Guys like Russ Smith, Jazz Ferguson, Dontay Smith, Chris Jones, D’Angelo Russell would come and play, and I held my own against those guys. If I could hold my own against them I could play against anybody.” said Johnson.

Goal-setting and achieving have been massive themes in his basketball career, according to Johnson, and that carried over to IU Southeast. Throughout his career as a Grenadier, Johnson has been a part of many teams and played significant roles in those teams’ success.

“My favorite memory so far in basketball is probably scoring my 1000th point at IUS. My high school career was cut short, so I was unable to get in the history books,” Johnson said. “I set a personal goal to get in the record books once I got to the next level, so being in IUS’s record books means a lot to me.”

After basketball at the college level, many players try to play professionally, whether it’s overseas or in the NBA. Indiana University Southeast has had some success in sending players to the next level, such as Jazz Ferguson.

“IUS has had some outstanding players come through their program. I definitely would love to go overseas and play the game I love, but more importantly, I want my degree just as bad as I want to play overseas.” said Johnson.

Johnson has had a productive career at IU Southeast and has collected many accolades in the process. This past week he was placed on the Bevo Francis Award Top 100 Watch List. The watch list recognizes 100 of the best men’s basketball players in the country who play in affiliations like the NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA Division I, NAIA Division II, USCAA and NCCAA.

“My advice to any kid, boy or girl, would be to always believe in yourself and understand God has a plan for you,” Johnson said. “If you work hard, even when people aren’t looking, you will always come out on top.”

Jared Osborne is a sophomore on the IU Southeast basketball team, and said Johnson is a good leader and role model.

“Jamie is a great leader to look up to. He comes to practice every day and works hard and puts in extra work outside of what’s required,” said Osborne. “He knows what it takes to be successful.”