United Community Bank Athlete of the Week: Bishop Ryan’s Ian Johnson
MINOT, N.D. – The Bishop Ryan Lions have cruised through the opening rounds of the boys District 12 tournament, thanks in part to junior Ian Johnson averaging more than 18 points per game.
He wasn’t playing like that last week.
“I hadn’t been having the best performances at the end of the regular season, so I had to flip a switch coming into districts,” said Ian.
He knew he needed to adjust his game.
“I had to talk with my parents about working harder, being confident when I step in the game and shoot the ball with confidence every time,” said Ian.
Broderick Bosch, the Bishop Ryan boys basketball coach, has seen Ian grow as a teammate, too.
“He knew he had to be aggressive, we know teams are out to watch (senior) Brady Feller a lot, and (Ian is) kind of our number two guy. He knew he had to step up and he’s doing that well,” said Bosch.
Part of the adjustment to Ian’s play has come from working on his self-confidence.
“I know there’s a lot of people on the bench that want me to shoot it. All my teammates have confidence in me, so I got to have it in myself too,” said Ian.
The results speak for themselves: the Lions defeated Glenburn by 37 points in the quarterfinal and Our Redeemer’s by 27 in the semifinal game.
“It’s just the best feeling ever to go out there and play good, start knocking down shots,” said Ian.
He’s also confident about knowing when he needs to take a break.
“He gets subbed out of games and he’s the first one to start defensive chants, supporting his teammates. He’s grown so much this season as a teammate and he’s a phenomenal player,” said Bosch.
“I always got to work my butt off until I’m tired enough to call myself out,” said Ian.
Don’t let his demeanor on the court fool you, though. Ian is focused on his play.
“He likes to joke around a lot, he’s goofy, he’s such a nice kid,” said Bosch.
“This is my life, I just love playing basketball,” said Ian.
He’s confident about that, too.
The Bishop Ryan boys play Surrey Monday night for the District 12 crown. Both teams will advance to the regional tournament.
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