SANTA ANA, Calif. – He’s ShowtimeSJ_2014 to his nearly 13,000 Twitter followers. And counting.
To his legendary head coach, Gary McKnight, he may be the best player he’s ever coached in his illustrious career at Mater Dei.
To his teammates and those close to him, he’s just Stan.
Mater Dei junior Stanley Johnson does so many things on the floor, it’s hard to characterize his game. Is he more ‘Melo or LeBron? Is he a guard or a forward?
“I’m wing point forward wing,” Johnson said slowly with each word running into the next.
He leads the Monarchs in points (18.9), rebounds (8.5), and steals (2.2).
On the court, people say he looks scary, although away from the court, he’s a big kid inside a 6’5″ 220-pound body. He keeps the mood light. He’s a jokester.
His legacy, however, is no laughing matter. It’s very important to him. He’ll have the opportunity to impact that when Johnson leads Mater Dei into the Anaheim Convention Center Arena to take on Etiwanda in the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA championship on Saturday at 8:30pm. The game can be seen live on Prime Ticket.
Championships are what it’s about when you put on the scarlet and gray of Mater Dei. Johnson is fully aware of that. He knows if he’s going to go down as the best ever to put on a Mater Dei uniform, as his coached pronounced, he has to have the hardware to back it up.
He also knows his own track record in championship settings. If he gets to the show, he’ll take care of the rest.
“I’ve never lost a championship game,” Johnson said.
In his high school career, he has one CIF Southern Section championship (the Monarchs lost in the CIF semifinals his freshman year), two Southern California regional championships, and two state titles. In his freshman year, the self-proclaimed “sneaker-head” started a tradition of his own. In championship games, he’s always worn footwear inspired by one of the best closers the game has seen.
“I feel like Kobe’s the best closer in the game, so hopefully it’ll give me some luck at the end of the games,” Johnson said with a laugh.
On Saturday, he hopes his thoughts ring true in order to deliver the 22nd Southern Section championship in Mater Dei history.