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Senior captain guard Garrett Johnson earned All-State Team and All-Shoreline Conference Second Team honors, while helping Morgan boys’ hoops progress from four victories last year to 17 wins this season. (Photo courtesy of Garrett Johnson )
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Every moment of preparation matters when you’re an athlete. For Garrett Johnson, all of those dribbles in the driveway yielded a career that saw him score plenty of points and rack up his fair share of accolades at Morgan.
Garrett started playing basketball “as soon as I could dribble and shoot,” and he’s been working his way up the ranks ever since. This winter, Garrett led the Morgan boys’ basketball team as a senior captain guard and helped the Huskies launch a 13-victory turnaround.
After Morgan won just four games last year, Garrett and company finished with a record of 17-8, while qualifying for both the Shoreline Conference Tournament and the Division V State Tournament during the 2018-’19 campaign. Garrett garnered All-State Team and All-Shoreline Conference Second Team recognition after averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game.
“Those two awards are things that I am definitely proud of. They are also things that I definitely feel I earned,” Garrett says. “I am always working out in the summer and during the offseason to improve my game. It was a lot of practice in the driveway, and it was nice to see all my efforts come together like that.”
When it came to being a captain, Garrett felt that he had a bit of a leg up with his connection to the Huskies’ underclassmen. Still, Garrett earned his stripes as a leader through both his actions and his words.
“My brother [Zachary] is a sophomore on the team, so I knew a lot of the people in that grade going in. So, it was easier to connect with the younger guys,” says Garrett. “I felt I was a natural leader on the court by handling the ball a lot, but I knew I had to work on being a vocal leader, so I tried to grow there.”
At 5-foot-11, Garrett finds ways to get creative in order to generate success in the paint. Garrett has continually expanded his offensive arsenal throughout his time on the Morgan court.
“I was never the tallest or strongest kid, so I had to work on my creativity on offense. I always wanted to be a low-post player with hook shots and up-and- under shots,” Garrett says. “I could also take people off the dribble to go by them. My dad [Boyd] also influenced me to score from any side.”
Morgan made some waves in the playoffs by advancing to the Shoreline semifinals and the quarterfinal round of states this season. Garrett believed the Huskies had the ingredients to put together a great campaign. He feels proud that the seniors provided the spark that brought it all together.
“We knew we had a talented team coming back with potential,” says Garrett. “We had a strong senior class with guys who could score and rebound and help us win games. They also helped set the tone in practice.”
Head Coach Frank Rossi says that Garrett gained crucial confidence that trickled down throughout Morgan’s lineup. This type of leadership helped make for a smooth transition for the Huskies’ first-year coach.
“What was most impressive about Garrett’s season was to watch his confidence grow every game. As his confidence grew, more of our players began to buy in and really respect his ability as our leader both emotionally and from a skills standpoint,” says Rossi. “Garrett was a great role model, not just in action, but how he handled adversity, how he spoke to the underclassmen, and how he dealt with players, coaches, and officials. Garrett bought in to what the new coaching staff wanted to accomplish very early on and set a positive tone for the team.”
While he feels bittersweet about leaving the Huskies, Garrett will always have fond memories about how Morgan reversed its fortunes this year and did so as a unified group.
“It’s sad that my high school basketball career is over, because I loved winning all those games,” says Garrett, who thanks his father, along with fellow senior captain Chris Nuzzo. “I’ll remember even more the memories made in the locker room and on the bus rides. I’m proud of what this team accomplished.”
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