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Like Father, Like Son. The Johnson's and FAMU Basketball

By: Sam Lane Email
By: Sam Lane Email

Tallahassee, FL -- Chad Johnson has been around basketball all his life. He played high school basketball at FAMU DRS, then at Nebraska before transfering to Pitt, helping lead the Panthers to a Sweet 16 appearance. After his playing days were up, Chad turned into Coach Johnson.

"When I was playing high school and college, I always assumed that me coach would never happen because I felt like I would miss the game, playing too much."

He first started coach at East Gadsden High School under Dimitric Salters.

"At first I was like naw, I really don't want to do it, but as I got out there and got involved, I kind of felt the joy in trying to help the young guys reach to the point at least where I was at."

Even before high school Chad was influenced by the game. He is the son of FAMU head basketball coach Clemon Johnson, who played professional basketball in the NBA and overseas from 1978 through 1993.

"I think during the time I didn't really realize what I was being privilaedged to. It didn't really hit me until it was too late."

"He was born when I was playing with the Indiana Pacers, so he went through those eight to nine years of NBA then five more years of Italy," says Celmon Johnson. "Then he played high school and college basketball all on his own."

Chad even spent some time living in Italy while Clemon played in Bologna. The time spent traveling says helped turn him into a better coach.

"After I got out of school and I got a chance to reflect on everything I had been a part of and everything I was able to witness as a young child, I think it kind of helps me with my coaching career because now I always felt like a player-coach anyways."

When Clemon Johnson was hired as head coach at FAMU, Chad joined his staff.

"It's not as comfortable as most people expect it to be because he's my son," adds Clemon. "We're not living together or things of that nature, I actually talk more to the other coaches than I do him, but he is someone I can bounce ideas off of."

"We're kind of more on a brotherly relationship than a father-son. We talk to each other more on a friend level than a father level."

As well as on a coaching level.

"He, needless to say, is the one I trained from day one. Most of his ideas, I thought, were like mine."

"He respects my knowledge of the game a lot so it makes my job a lot easier. He kind of knows that he trained you, he taught me the game very well so know when I bounce ideas off of him, it's not one of those Ideas well, ok, you don't know what you're talking about but it's one of those things like, Chad, what do you see here, what do you think about this situation, what do you think about this scenario."

As for what the future holds for Chad.

"I really don't know. I just want to do my best to help the program that's here. If it blossoms into other head coaching opportunities on the division one level or even the NBA, that's something I'll get to when it comes."


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