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Love at first sight for Johnson

Sean Johnson’s long, arduous recruiting process finally came to an end when the Christ the King senior guard returned from his official visit to Duquesne. Actually, it ended when the Queensbridge native walked onto the campus last Thursday.

“When I went on my official visit, I felt confident in the coaching staff and I thought it was a great atmosphere,” Johnson said. “I know I’ll get playing time. I liked everything about it. There was not one bad thing about it.”

The 6−foot−2 shooting guard, the Queens Player of the Year, briefly consulted with his parents and Royals Coach Joe Arbitello and gave his verbal commitment Monday afternoon.

“I came back and evaluated everything and my mother and father went with me on the visit,” Johnson said. “They also thought it would be a good fit for me.”

Johnson, who averaged 22.4 points per game and was named the MVP of the CHSAA Class AA league, also received offers from Manhattan, Quinnipiac and Nebraska.

“I’m really happy it’s over,” said Johnson, who led the Royals to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title game for a fourth straight year. “It was getting kind of stressful, but I knew at the end of the day everything would work out.”

Johnson said he believed the Atlantic 10 conference would be the perfect fit for him, but it wasn’t until about three weeks ago that the Dukes expressed an interest, according to Arbitello.

“I think it’s a good choice,” Arbitello said. “They had a walk−on at two−guard so there’s going to be some playing time for him and I think it’s where he wanted to play the whole time. The way they get up and down the floor, I think it’s a perfect style for him to play.”

Johnson, who is fully qualified, according to Arbitello, said he liked the message sent by Duquesne Coach Ron Everhart on his visit.

“They’re going to make me work hard, which is what I need from a coach, discipline on and off the court,” Johnson said. “When he was saying stuff like that, I knew it would be a great fit for me.”

Despite having eight freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman on the opening day roster, Duquesne posted the school’s most wins since 1971 and first 20−win season since 1981 in going 21−13. Picked to finish 12th in the Atlantic 10, the Dukes advanced to the conference championship game and were awarded a National Invitational Tournament bid, their first post−season appearance since 1994.

“I’m happy about all the success I had during the season and I’m real happy I picked an A−10 school,” Johnson said. “It’s where I feel I need to be, that type of conference.”

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