The Washington Post

Riverdale Baptist PG Nigel Johnson orally commits to George Washington

Mike Lonergan’s first recruiting class at George Washington featured a trio of versatile guards and plenty of local flavor.

That combination convinced Riverdale Baptist senior Nigel Johnson, one of the area’s top point guards, to pick the Colonials and ensured Lonergan’s recruiting trends will continue in 2013.

Johnson, an ultra-quick, 6-foot-1 guard, orally committed to George Washington on Saturday. He joins Magruder senior shooting guard Nick Griffin, who committed to the Colonials in August.

Johnson, who transferred from Broad Run this summer, cited the ability to play right from the get-go on a young, but talented team in the increasingly-competitive Atlantic 10.

“Coach Lonergan likes playing three guards and felt like I could come in and make an immediate impact for them,” Johnson said Monday. “He believes that you win with guard play.

“It just felt like it was a good fit for me.”

Last year with Broad Run, Johnson led the area in scoring with 29.5 points per game and averaged 8.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and nearly four steals per contest. With lethal dribble-drive ability and an improved perimeter shot, he scored more than 30 points 11 times, including a 55-point explosion in an overtime loss to Osbourn down the stretch.

Johnson is the fifth local player to commit to the Colonials in two years. A pair of 2012 All-Met guards, Joe McDonald (Landon) and Kethan Savage (Episcopal), plus center Kevin Larsen (Montrose Christian), will be freshmen at George Washington this season.

“They’ve shown that they’re going to play their young talent, and they’re committed to building locally,” Johnson’s father, Sidney Johnson, said. “It’s a great situation for Nigel.”

Johnson had offers from American, Bucknell, Cornell, William & Mary, Northwestern, Brown, Princeton, Lehigh, Robert Morris, Delaware, Drexel, UNC Greensboro, Florida International and Quinnipiac, but chose the team that has recruited him since his sophomore season.

The prospect of playing relatively close to his home in Ashburn was an added bonus. Johnson, a second-team All-Met last season, lives with his uncle in Maryland during the week to shorten his commute to Riverdale’s campus in Upper Marlboro.

“I wanted to be far enough away where [my parents] wouldn’t be able to see me all the time, but close enough where I could go home if I wanted,” Johnson said. “It’s nice that my parents can come to all my home games.”

More from AllMetSports:

Johnson transfers to Riverdale Baptist to ready for college basketball

Magruder’s Nick Griffin orally commits to George Washington

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.



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