A native of Haverhill, Mass., Dallion Johnson ’20 started playing basketball in preschool after being introduced to the game by his father. He quickly fell in love with the sport and continued to play all throughout elementary and middle school on Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams in the area.
Johnson often played with teams in the grades above him, allowing him to compete with and learn from older players. At Andover, Johnson was the only Junior to make the Andover Boys Basketball team last year. His hard work and talent earned him the respect of his teammates and coaches, who named him Co-Captain as a Lower.
Johnson is respected by his teammates for his easy-going personality, but also for his ability to know when it is time to get serious and focus in practice and games, according to Matteo Whelton ’20.
“He can fool around and joke around with the guys but he knows when it comes to practice and games [that] it’s time to take care of business and as a team we see that and respect it,” said Whelton.
As Co-Captain, Johnson sets examples of hard work and accountability both on and off the court, according to Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00.
“I think he does a really good job of leading by example. He’s not necessarily the most vocal captain, but he does lead by example and if he needs to he has the ability to hold kids accountable. People like him so they are more likely to listen to him when he gives them advice or when he is trying to help them understand what they’re doing. I think it is hard to have expectations of other kids on the team if you’re not meeting those expectations so he does a really good job of meeting my expectations,” said Coach Ivory.
This season, Johnson switched from playing shooting guard to becoming the leader on the court as the point guard. Johnson credits this switch in position, along with his role as Co-Captain, with helping him develop as a player and leader.
“Basketball has taught me to be more vocal and humble. I would always be one of the best players on the court but my parents and grandparents always told me to stay humble. This year I have been talking a lot more because as the point guard you have to be the leader on the court, and being a captain this year is a much bigger role than last year,” said Johnson.
On the court, Johnson is a versatile player and an asset to the team both defensively and especially offensively, according to Whelton and Post-Graduate Derrick Herrick ’18.
“Dallion is very talented. He can shoot, dribble, pass, defend; he’s fast and agile he’s everything a college coach is looking for. His biggest asset on the court I think his scoring ability. He can score from outside, mid-range, or at the rim. As a team we view Dallion as our best player and someone we count on day in and day out. We’re lucky to have him,” said Whelton.
Herrick said, “He does a good job of leading by example through his actions. Dallion is a very good ball handler who can score in a variety of ways. He is also a very hard worker and someone I am glad to call my teammate.”
Johnson also possesses the ability to remain poised and collected as a leader and player when the team is faced with a tough situation or when the game is close, according to Coach Ivory and Whelton.
“He is really composed and really good in situations where there’s a lot of pressure on him. On a nightly basis he has to do a lot for us and he doesn’t get rattled at all in situations [where] there’s a lot of pressure. He does a good job of handling those situations,” said Ivory.
“He approaches difficult situations head on. When the game is close and it’s crunch time we know he’ll be there for us. He’ll never shy away from the big moments and that’s something not everyone is blessed with,” said Whelton.
As Co-Captain, Johnson hopes to be viewed as a leader who is not afraid to speak up in order to help the team improve.
“I want to be viewed — not only by my players but by all people around me — as a good person. But in basketball if you are the only leader on the team or the captain, sometimes [you have] to speak up and say things that [you] don’t really want to say in order to get the team to listen. People aren’t going to like you every time, especially your teammates and sometimes you have to yell at them or reprimand them. My main goal is to become a better player but also to make my teammates better,” said Johnson.