The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association today granted eligibility status to Duke University basketball recruit Jalen Johnson. The talented 6-foot-9 senior is now eligible to play basketball for the rest of the 2019-20 season for the Nicolet Knights, including tonight's game at Slinger.
Johnson, ranked among the top 10 players nationally in the 2020 class, led Nicolet to the WIAA Division 2 state championship last March. He then opted to transfer to IMG Academy, a prestigious prep school in Florida, for his senior season.
Johnson left IMG Academy in November and did not play a game for the school.
Per WIAA transfer rules, since Johnson never established eligibility at IMG Academy, his eligibility never left Nicolet. So when he came home and re-enrolled at Nicolet his eligibility status was not in question.
What was in question was Johnson's involvement with USA Basketball last summer and that organization paying expenses for Johnson to take part in its activities.
The Johnson family made restitution for Jalen getting his expenses paid by USA Basketball this week. The family paid 100 percent of the cost previously paid by USA Basketball and thus Jalen gained eligibility from the WIAA today.
Johnson's return to Nicolet immediately makes the Knights a team to beat at the WIAA Division 2 level.
Along with Onalaska and La Crosse Central, among others, Nicolet has the star power, size and talent to bring home the Gold Ball next month.
Nicolet takes a 13-3 record into its match-up tonight against Slinger. The Knights are led in scoring by Jalen's younger brother, junior point guard Kobe Johnson (6-4), who is averaging 21.9 ppg. Junior forward James Graham (6-6) contributes 21.1 ppg.
Johnson averaged 19.9 points and 11.4 rebounds for Nicolet a year ago when he teamed with Kobe and Graham, among others, to help the Knights to a 27-1 record.