Chester forward Russell Johnson commits to Robert Morris

Posted: May 15, 2008

Russell Johnson is feeling a little more comfortable today, after signing to attend Robert Morris on a full basketball scholarship next fall. The 6-6 senior forward just finished a stellar career at Chester High, playing a key role in the Clippers' 33-1 season and their second PIAA Class AAAA state championship in 4 years.

Johnson selected Robert Morris, a school just outside Pittsburgh that plays in the Northeast Conference, over George Washington, La Salle, Temple and Marshall.

"I always knew that I was going to go there," said Johnson, who signed his national letter of intent Tuesday. "I went over there and saw the campus and fell in love with it. It feels good to be committing somewhere, instead of running around not knowing where you're going to go. Robert Morris was always in the picture."

Johnson, who averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds, was a real defensive force for Chester, and he branched out this season to become a three-point threat.

Johnson had breakout year as a junior, when he averaged 15 points and 15 rebounds during the PIAA playoffs. He grabbed the attention of some of the local schools, but Morris had shown interest in Johnson as a junior and stayed with him.

"They stuck with me, and loyalty is a big thing with me," said Johnson, who was recruited primarily by Jimmy Martelli, a Morris assistant coach who is the son of Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli. "A state championship, and now this, I couldn't have asked for a better year." *

Send e-mail to santoj@phillynews.com

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