Ponte Vedra student athlete Jack Johnson has committed to play basketball at Augusta University in Georgia next year.
The 6-foot-8-inch Sharks senior celebrated his college selection with family and friends at a signing ceremony at Ponte Vedra High School on Monday, Nov. 20. Johnson officially signed with Augusta earlier in November.
“Augusta stuck out to me mostly because of the successful program and how well they’re coached, how well they maintain their success,” said Johnson, an 18-year-old who plans to play stretch four for the Jaguars. “I’m just really looking forward to it.”
Augusta finished 24-8 in the 2016-2017 season. The Jaguars play in the Peach Belt Conference at the Division II level, along with Flagler College in St. Augustine.
In addition to Augusta, Johnson visited Lewis University in Chicago, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, University of West Florida and University of Tampa. He added that he ultimately chose Augusta because he enjoyed his interactions with head coach Dip Metress and the Jaguars’ players, who he said were “super hospitable” when he visited. Johnson also had the opportunity to meet with Augusta’s athletics director, which he said is rare.
“The overall feeling of being wanted was definitely there,” said Johnson, who plans to study kinesiology. “They wrote me an offer right on the spot, before I left. They knew how to get things done … I thought it was the right fit for me.”
At the celebratory event on Monday, Sharks head basketball coach Bud Beech said he knew Johnson had potential when he first started for the varsity team his sophomore year. Since then, Beech said Johnson has made huge improvements and has become the best shot blocker he’s seen in his 30 years of coaching.
“I’m lucky that I had the opportunity to coach him,” said Beech, who also congratulated Johnson on his accomplishments. “Making it to the next level is a big, big deal.”