Season Wrap-Up: Brice Johnson

Photo by Doug Rogers

Edisto (S.C.) head coach Herman Johnson requires just one thing of his players – maximum effort at all times. As a father, he's instilled in his son a similar refrain – "nothing good comes without hard work."

Together, the philosophies helped his son, UNC signee Brice Johnson, reach levels of success that seemed unlikely just a year ago.

In February, Brice was selected to the 11th annual Jordan Brand Classic (JBC). In March, Johnson was named the 2011-12 Gatorade South Carolina Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

"For him to be this successful, it means a lot to you as a coach," Herman Johnson said. "You get to coach someone that epitomizes and takes to heart the game of basketball. For me, coaching him was a joy.

"As a dad I'm very proud of him and just overwhelmed at his success. I wish his mom was here to enjoy the success, but I know she's watching down … we've just been blessed with his success."

A 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward, Brice averaged 25.4 points, 14.3 rebounds, seven blocks and three assists per game this season. While he didn't lead Edisto to a state title, he said he's happy with Edisto's development during the year.

"We had a good a run," he said. "It was a better season than last year, but we didn't play to the expectations I had and my dad had."

The Cougars finished the season 15-5 before losing in the second round of the Class 2A state tournament.

"With him in the game, it added another dimension to our defense," Herman Johnson said. "He is an excellent shot blocker and he can rebound with the best of them. We didn't have the best guard play, so our frontline kept us in a lot of ball games."

During the span of his high school career, Herman Johnson said Brice's overall improvement has been phenomenal.

"The growth in his game has been fun to watch," Herman Johnson explained. "Each year he's gotten a little better -- a little better scoring, shooting, rebounding and ball-handling. He's a completely different player from when we started"

Herman Johnson and Brice will head to Charlotte to participate in the JBC, televised nationally on ESPN on April 14.

"It means a lot because all the hard work actually paid off for me," Brice said of playing in the JBC. "I set goals, worked hard and it paid off. I actually did it."

During the JBC practices and scrimmages, he'll play with – and against – fellow UNC signees J.P. Tokoto and Marcus Paige. While they don't talk every day, Johnson said he has a good relationship with his future teammates.

Only a couple of months from enrolling at UNC, the Tar Heels' coaching staff has asked Johnson to enjoy his remaining time in high school.

"They told me to be a student and keep up my grades," he said. "They want me to finish out on a high note in the classroom, and then they said they'll see me this summer."

Brice Johnson Profile

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