Prep Basketball Rankings: No.13 Dakari Johson

By Robert White
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Dakari Johnson is no stranger to the spotlight. As a 14-year-old, Johnson measured in at 6’9, 240, predictably dominated the smaller competition and was considered the best player in the nation. His peers have now caught up, but Johnson is still a must watch prospect.

A massive specimen, Johnson’s size is a huge advantage and he possesses excellent footwork and a deft touch to supplement his presence at both ends of the floor. He draws comparisons to other talented, big bodied and earth bound stars including NBA guys Al Jefferson and Jared Sullinger.

The top center prospect in the nation, Johnson committed to Kentucky over the likes of Georgetown and Syracuse and already has some lofty expectations.

“I just want to win a national championship,” Johnson said after announcing his decision in early January. “I want to win a high school championship, then a college championship and hopefully an NBA championship.

“(The coaching staff) told me this was not the place to come if I didn’t want to work hard,” he added. “But I want to work hard and I want to get pushed. And I think Kentucky is the place for me.”

Johnson ensures coach John Calipari and Kentucky will be in the thick of things at the top end of the NCAA in 2014, another strong recruiting effort from the Wildcats, but will have to split his minutes at center if either of Nerlens Noel or Willie Cauley-Stein forogo the NBA draft in order for a little more college seasoning.

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