Terrance Johnson could have stopped practicing when Belaire did not make the playoffs. And he could have opted to stay home in order to get ready for the BHS prom Saturday.
But the 6-foot-2 guard said he has something to prove. That’s why Johnson will play in the LHSCA All-Star boys basketball game set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Bossier City Community College.
“This is something I’m looking forward to,” Johnson said. “You’ve got some of the best players from around the state. I’m anxious to see how I match up with those guys and see what I can do.”
Johnson is part of heavy Baton Rouge presence for the East squad that includes Torez Kinchen of Denham Springs, Chris Beckman Jr. of Episcopal, Family Christian’s Jordan Plain, Southern Lab’s Bladrick Veal, the Scotlandville duo of Garrick Green and Jordan Adebutu and the University duo of Wayde Sims and Jalen Johnson.
One reason Terrance Johnson isn’t as well known as some of the other players is pretty basic — Class 4A Belaire did not make the playoffs. The Bengals had to forfeit 16 games when two players were ruled ineligible in early February. Johnson finished the season with averages of 16.3 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game.
Though he has been contacted by several schools, Johnson doesn’t have a college offer yet and hopes the all-star game will generate some added interest.
“It was tough to see it end like that,” Johnson said. “I felt like we had a chance to do some things in playoffs. But I knew I had to keep working.
“That’s part of the reason I feel like I have something to prove. I’m looking forward to being around other coaches, and I like that I’ll get to play with some of these other guys I’ve played against.”
So instead of going home after school, Johnson opted to stay in the gym. If he wasn’t shooting, he was running sprints or doing dribbling drills.
“I’d get my teammates to come in and work with me when they could,” Johnson said. “I’d work on dribbling and finishing with my left hand. … Whatever I felt like I needed.”
The only potential stumbling block was Belaire’s prom. BHS coach Chauncey Moore told Johnson he would drive him back to Baton Rouge in time for the prom.
“It would be hard to find a kid who works as hard as Terrance does,” Moore said. “He’s always the first one to practice and the last to leave. That’s why I’m glad he’s getting this chance.”