Posted On: 10/14/18 11:02 PM
Sunday the family of Keon Johnson (PrepHoopsTN 2020 #1) is back home after a homecoming-like visit to Auburn. From Friday morning to Sunday morning Auburn hosted Keon and his family for an official visit.
Auburn is always going to be a major player in the college recruitment of Keon Johnson after Keon’s mother Conswella Johnson (Sparrow) dominated SEC competition in the late 1990’s whilst playing for the Auburn Tigers.
Not only was then-Miss Sparrow All-SEC twice, she was also one of 44 college women hoopers invited to try out for the 12- woman United States National Team.
Included in the “Keon Caravan” was Keon’s mom, dad, brother, sister, and cousin. Also, EAB 17u Assistant Coach Mark Griffin and Mark Griffin’s wife. Coach Griffin serves as a supportive coach, advisor, and a mentor of Keon.
They all converged upon Auburn University. What did the visit entail?
“It is very time specific,” said Mrs. Johnson. “It is very detail oriented. We spent a lot of time with the assistant coaches, with Coach Pearl. We watched practice. Auburn is big on family. We spent a lot of time with their families and their kids.”
Family was a big emphasis at Auburn.
“They talked about the family environment,” said Coach Griffin. “They talked about how they all cared for each other. It was mainly a family environment.”
Coach Griffin repeated the theme several times as he and Keon and Keon’s family obviously heard the family theme more than once during their collective visit. Coach Griffin said Auburn is preaching that athletes are ‘building a future family’ while attending.
“Overall it was a good visit,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Of course, as you know Auburn is my alma mater, it is a little bit special for me. Very familiar territory for me. Beautiful campus of course. A lot has changed.”
In the last 15-20 years, Auburn’s campus and the surrounding town enjoyed many changes noticed Mrs. Johnson.
“The town is growing.”
The big question is, ‘Will Keon be growing within the town?’
The Family Feel
For all the changes to Auburn, Alabama several faces beamed familiarly. Former Auburn teammate Shana Daniels (Askew) is back in town with her husband and new Auburn Graduate Assistant Coach Marquis Daniels.
Shana Askew played at Auburn, where she started 68 games in four seasons. She is still in the top 10 in school history in 3-point field goals.
In the last six months Auburn University also hired Wes Flanigan as an Assistant Coach.
“Wes Flanigan was there when I was there,” reflected Mrs. Johnson.
Flanigan played with the Tigers from 1993-97 and was a four-year starter at point guard. He is the 22nd-leading scorer in program history with 1,228 points.
Keon Johnson’s official visit actually resulted in a Scoring Leader Reunion, of sorts. In addition to Wes Flanigan, Shana Askew, Marquis Daniels, Conswella Johnson met up with Vickie Orr. Like 1,200+ point career scorer Conswella, Vickie Orr racked up extraordinary numbers playing for the Auburn Tigers.
Vickie Orr scored 2,035 points in her illustrious college career. Both Orr and Conswella Johnson played for Auburn Coach Joe Ciampi.
“She did get to catch up with her college coach,” said EAB 17u Assistant Coach Mark Griffin. “Ciampi. She got to see him during the visit.”
According to Mrs. Johnson the family enjoyed breakfast Sunday morning with Coach Ciampi. The coach, along with stellar players like and including the aforementioned women, took Auburn to 16 NCAA Tournaments.
“We actually met today with him,” said Mrs. Johnson. “We met for breakfast this morning.”
The Big Picture
The connections between his mother and Auburn are many. But, where does Auburn stand with Keon and his family?
For now they are one of his top schools. Keon still intends to take official visits to Tennessee and Virginia. There is no urgency to commit as Keon has another full year until he can sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI), which he does not HAVE to sign.
Vanderbilt is also in the mix.
“Ole Miss was the fifth school,” said Coach Griffin. “There has not been an official visit set up with them.”
Under the new NCAA rules, Keon Johnson can take as many as five official visits this academic year. After its conclusion in May he can take five more before October 15th, 2020. If he elects to Keon can take an official next year to a “repeater” school from this year.
Do not think of these schools as Keon’s only schools. They are his favorite options now.
“He is going through the process now not to commit as a junior, but as an opportunity to narrow (his list),” said Coach Griffin.
Tennessee hosts the Keon Caravan this upcoming weekend and Virginia gets them in Charlottesville, Virginia November 2-4. The Webb School-Bell Buckle has a sparkling team again and Keon will defend his Mr. Basketball title this winter in search of a team state title.
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