B/R Interview: Trey Johnson, Mo Williams High School Teammate, NBDL Star
Trey Johnson attended Jackson State where he played basketball and baseball. Johnson is currently with the Bakersfield Jam, but has been with many teams all over the globe.
Trey has played with the Hornets, Cavaliers, KK Hemofarm in Serbia, and Angelico Biella in Italy. Johnson also played with the Los Angeles Lakers this preseason.
ZH: What was it like playing with Mo Williams in high school?
TJ: Playing with Mo in High School was great! I watched him and learned so much from him and he probably doesn't even realize it. How hard you have to work, the mindset you must have, and how to carry yourself when in the public eye. He was one of the most talented and skilled players I had ever seen and I knew this when he was a seventh grader and I was in the sixth. Watching him play for the first time was so unbelievable to me back then, so to actually watch him grow and get even better in high school was something special.
ZH: Were you considering the Royals before you got injured? (Trey was drafted to the Kansas City Royals shortly after high school)
TJ: When I first got drafted, I considered it a great deal, but they were a little hesitant in making a real offer because they felt my interest was more for basketball than baseball. So they did what you call a draft and follow, which means they held on to my rights for a year and followed me my entire freshman year and then they could have either signed me prior to the next draft or released my rights. They released my rights before I ever got hurt because after my freshman year in college, my mind was totally on basketball, although I had a good year on the diamond that year as well.
ZH: How happy were you when you got the chance to play with the Hornets?
TJ: It was a blessing being with the Hornets. Looking back, it was an experience I needed and greatly appreciated. I became great friends with CP (Chris Paul) and once again, I just watched him and learned so much. Byron Scott was tremendous and really believed in me as a player which I greatly appreciate till this day, and forever will.
ZH: Was Serbia basketball a lot different than the NBA style of play?
TJ: Serbian basketball was a big difference from NBA style basketball. They are extremely physical and the philosophy of my coach at the time was just so new and different from all that I grew up learning. It was an unpleasant experience yet, it gave me a more appreciation for the game.
ZH: Were there any big differences from Serbia basketball to European basketball?
TJ: Serbian ball and European ball is similar, yet the Serbian game is about being more physical than your opponent. That’s what they lay their hat on is being physical.
ZH: Was playing with the Lakers this preseason one of the best opportunities you have had?
TJ: Definitely one of the most blessed situations I have ever been given. Being a part of that organization and around the caliber of people that are associated with them made me a better individual. There is a reason they are the back to back champs. You learn something daily and everyone there understands the game so well, from Phil down to the last assistant and on to the players. I’m very thankful just for the opportunity they provided me with.
ZH: What are your goals with the Jam this season?
TJ: My goals this season are just to continue to improve as a complete basketball player and more than anything, WIN. I think being a winner says a lot about your character and brings positive attention to the team as well as yourself. Everyone wants to be associated with a winner.
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