Jan. 27, 2006
The foundation Alexander Johnson’s family sits on is more than a mere rock. The Bridgton Academy graduate sits atop the groundwork of a mountain.
Johnson thanks and praises his family for always being there and never giving up on him. Tallahassee was the perfect fit for a high school standout looking to play close to home.
Johnson didn’t just want to play Division I-A basketball, he wanted his friends and relatives to be able to watch him play live. The junior center wanted to set an example for his three younger brothers, not just from the television or over the phone but close to home.
Playing the role of the starting Seminole center allows the Albany native to do just that.
Family holds a special meaning to everyone, and to Johnson, or “A.J.” to his friends, it is no different. He credits not only his mother, Gwen Johnson, for his upbringing but recognizes the efforts of the entire family. The education he received from grandparents and god-family made him the family man he is today. He appreciates the exertion and sweat given by all his n e a rest and dearest.
“They have been with me through the tough times and the happy times,” Johnson said. “They’re there for the thick and the thin, good times and the bad. They would never turn their backs on me.”
The quiet leader exemplifies a player who uses his time on the court to set examples for the younger players. He doesn’t feel that he has to voice his opinion to get the point across. In his heart, actions are bigger than words any day.
“I like to lead by example as opposed to being the vocal leader,” Johnson said.
Johnson leads the team whether he knows it or not. Being the center of a team in a conference that leads the college basketball nation puts him in a heightened position. Not only does he have the responsibility to guide the underclassman beneath him but he is also a role model to the children across America looking up to him.
He has three brothers who at times can put a load on his shoulders but he takes it in stride as he enjoys knowing he is the one showing them the proper way to live life. Basketball is a big part of Johnson’s life but making the team is not what he is most proud of. It is graduating high school and making a path for his siblings.
“Getting my diploma was tough for me. And it’s one of my greatest accomplishments,” Johnson said. “Being able to show my brothers my diploma was very important.”
Johnson came into this season with a new physique. He shed 25 pounds this off- season, becoming a healthier, more agile big man. His outstanding freshman and sophomore seasons have the Seminoles excited with high hopes for the rest of his career. With the experience of two seasons under his belt, Johnson now seems more aware of his tasks at hand.
He understands that he now has to focus.
“I’m taking everything I do seriously,” Johnson said. “There is no room for error.”
Johnson has a lot to look forward to as the Seminoles aim high this season. Graduating college is next on Johnson’s list. Being the mentor to his younger brothers and just being around his family is what Johnson takes pleasure in most. FSU fans just hope that the younger brothers of Johnson take after their older brother and make Florida State their college destination.
By Jon Bartek FSU Sports Information