Even on the basketball court Alabama Crimson Tide signee Nico Johnson looks like a football player. He looks stout at his listed 6â€™3â€, and his arms show he has spent time lifting weights. When Johnson fills the lane, you can envision him playing linebacker on the football field. He is constantly talking to his teammates, communicating, and exhorting.
â€œIâ€™m trying to help them keep their composure. Iâ€™m just trying to keep them cool and keep them on task,â€ Johnson said.
Johnson is a leader on the court and on the football field. With his ability to communicate with his teammates, he should be a prize working in Nick Sabanâ€™s defense.
On the court Wednesday in Birmingham for the Final Four, he showcased his basketball skills. He hustled, made some big shots and showed agility for a big man. He finished the day 8-18 from the field with 18 points, four assists and 13 rebounds. It wasnâ€™t enough.
Andalusia lost to a very impressive Anniston team 79-68, but it was hard not to focus on the future football player. Especially at one point in the third quarter when Johnson landed on another playerâ€™s foot and his ankle appeared to twist. Johnson hobbled up the court trying to walk off the pain. For any Alabama fan watching, it was a deep breath moment.
But Johnson continued playing the remainder of the third and fourth quarters.
â€œI stepped on someoneâ€™s foot and think I rolled it, but Iâ€™m all right,â€ Johnson said.