BENTON, Ky. — When Keldon Johnson flushed home two monster slamsat the Marshall County Hoopfest Friday night, he knew he was putting on his first show for Kentucky fans.
The oohs and ahs didn’t match the noise he’ll hear at Rupp Arena next season, but it was at least a preview.
“I think they really enjoyed it,” Johnson said after helping Oak Hill to an 84-63 win. “They enjoyed the screaming and a lot of stuff like that. I fed off them and they fed off me.”
Johnson was on the receiving end of an alley-oop in which he almost hit his head on the bottom of the backboard. He talked about another high flyer, 5-star forward Zion Williamson, potentially joining him at Kentucky.
“I know Tyler (Herro’s) been talking to Zion a lot, staying on him, and talking to Moses (Brown),” Johnson said. “Maybe I’ll get in contact sometime soon and see where their head is at and see if we can get this done.”
Kentucky has the No. 4 class in the country with commitments from Johnson, 5-star point guard Immanuel Quickley and 4-star shooting guard Tyler Herro.
Johnson’s decision to sign with Kentucky was initially questioned by his dad, who was pushing Johnson to consider more schools. The two came to a mutual agreement.
“He just knows a lot of good players are gonna come to Kentucky and that no slackers come to Kentucky,” Johnson said. “From Day 1 I gotta fight. I think he was a little hesitant on that, but I know my dad believes in me that I can do it.”
Johnson showed Friday night that he’s comfortable playing off the ball, but said he can be a playmaker at Kentucky at shooting guard or small forward with the ball in his hands.
Johnson called the fan support at Marshall County “crazy” — a word John Calipari often uses to describe Kentucky fans.
“There was a lot of people out there calling my name and things like that,” Johnson said. “It was an awesome environment.”
After the game, Johnson fielded questions from a crowd of reporters just outside the locker room. He knew he’d likely be signing autographs once he walked back into the crowd.
“A lot of them are probably waiting for me out there right now,” he said.
And he was right.
Watch: Keldon Johnson highlights from Marshall County Hoopfest
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