A gamble that paid off, Canisius grad Jayce Johnson to play Division-I basketball

Johnson will play at MTSU
Posted at 9:30 PM, Aug 11, 2018

Back in February, then Canisius High senior, Jayce Johnson, signed his letter of intent to play football at Wagner. His plan was to head there this Fall and get better on the field. Well, that's what he thought.

Earlier this summer, Johnson chose to play AAU basketball despite the possibility of getting hurt and had to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life.. stick with football or pursue another sport he loved.

Johnson made the decision on his own and asked for and was granted a release from Wagner in early June. It was a gamble, especially since he had no basketball offers on the table.

"A lot of sleepless nights. I didn't know if I really wanted to do it just because the possibility of nothing," Johnson said. "But it took a lot of prayer and I thought it was the best decision for my future." 

But Johnson's gamble paid off. In his first AAU game down South, Johnson shined and caught the attention of several D-I coaches. In a 24 hour period, Johnson had three separate offers on the table.

"I was smiling ear to ear. I always believe it could happen but for it to come to fruition, it was just a dream come true."

Johnson wound up taking a visit to Middle Tennessee and loved it. He ended up committing to the team not long after and will be attending classes in a few weeks.

"Not a lot of kids even get that chance to play Division-I sports. but to get the chance to play it in both and to go to Middle Tennessee I know I'm gonna be put on a big stage and have to perform right away."


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