Shamir Johnson, sophomore and criminal justice major, has played basketball since he was eight years old.
Basketball became his safe haven at a young age as it keeps him out of trouble and his family happy.
“Without basketball, I would’ve ended up like at least six of my friends that took the wrong route in life,” said Johnson. “They are now dead and didn’t even see their 19th birthdays.”
Raised in Newark, New Jersey, he attended Newark East Side High School.
In addition to leading his team to many championships, he accomplished a lot on his own.
For example, he was named first-team for All-Essex County and All Group Four as well as third team on All-State NJ.
However, his success didn’t end there.
Johnson was a 1,000-point scorer, named Men of Essex Scholar-Athlete and played football up until the 9th grade.
“The main reason I chose basketball was that my dad blew his knee out and was unable to continue his own career,” said Johnson.
The day he picked up a basketball, he never put it down.
“The campus is so welcoming, and everyone is so great,” says Johnson adding that he feels that ESU brings more to the table than just a great basketball program.
He explains that this is one of the only schools that offered him a scholarship and the team is like a brotherhood.
Additionally, he has gained a lot from being a college-level athlete.
It has taught him time management skills such as managing is schoolwork, social life, being an athlete who is constantly on the road and practicing daily.
He came to the realization that certain things are more important than others and that those rules are set to make better student-athletes.
Looking back, Johnson had a successful season as a freshman recruit and was the sixth man for 28 games.
He helped ESU achieve its sixth Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East Regular Season Championship in the last 10 years.
He had 23 rebounds, 52 assists and 17 steals for the seasons and scored double-figures three times.
This season, he has already played 16 of 20 games.
The Warriors have seven games left that are a part of the PSAC.
Already, Johnson has 22 assists, 11 steals, and 13 rebounds.
“To win more rings at ESU and hopefully receive a contract from a team overseas to make money playing the sport I love,” said Johnson in regards to his athletic goals.
Setting him up at a disadvantage, Johnson was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, which often bothers him.
Some days are worse than others, but Johnson knows his body and he takes care of it when needed in order to succeed athletically.
Johnson spends his free time practicing shooting for the sport he loves, watching Netflix, hanging out with friends or calling his family back home.
Furthermore, Johnson doesn’t forget that he is a student first and is very involved in his studies, staying on top of his game on and off the court.
Johnson hopes to play professional basketball after college but is also actively studying to become a forensic scientist.
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