Johnson probably will not return to Vikings next year |

Johnson probably will not return to Vikings next year

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

It seems likely that senior forward Curtis Johnson will graduate this year from South Tahoe High School and thus will not be available to the Vikings’ basketball team next season.

Previously rumored to be considering a return to high school next year, Johnson is now examining his options and seems to be leaning toward attending a junior or small college and playing basketball in the hopes of being promoted to a larger, NCAA Division I school in a year or two.

Johnson’s coach at South Tahoe, Derek Allister, said there would be “some issues” relating to an attempted comeback for a second senior season. Senior forward Niko Klansek also has ruled out a return next year and will graduate at the end of the school year.

“(Johnson) would probably have to go through an appeal process,” Allister said. “Honestly, I don’t think another year would do him a whole lot of good. Academically, it could help him and certainly he would get better, but he would get a lot better if he went to a junior college. I think he’s ready to move on and tackle some different challenges.”

Allister said Johnson is interested in attending the University of Oregon and several Division I schools have expressed an interest in him.

“I get calls all the time about him,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s quite ready for that yet. Given another year or two, he might have a chance. I think he needs to go to a level where he’ll get better and not have to produce the way he would need to in Division I basketball. The transition (to JC) would be much better for him.”

Recommended Stories For You

Allister said he is encouraging his star forward to take a look at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore., where a good friend of his coaches.

“That’s what he’s zeroing in on,” he said. “I think Curtis has a very bright future. If he continues to grow and develop, he has a chance to be a very solid Division I player.”