by Jamaar Hawkins, i64sports
Last month, Hampton Roads native Randall Johnson received an once in a lifetime opportunity to serve as a court coach for the inaugural USA Basketball Boys Gold Camp in Richmond. The Gold Camp featured 7th and 8th grade boys from across the country. Participating individuals received on-court instruction from coaches that were hand selected by the USA Basketball staff.
For Johnson, the experience was truly indescribable. It was his first opportunity to learn from the USA Basketball coaching staff, including men’s U17 national team head coach Don Showalter.
“I feel honored,” Johnson noted. “For USA Basketball to entrust me with their brand is a big thing.”
This past weekend, Johnson, a Maury High School graduate, hosted the inaugural East Coast Youth Classic, featuring more than 20 teams from various states. The event was the first-ever USA Basketball qualifying event to take place in the Hampton Roads area.
The East Coast Youth Classic featured nearly 20 teams, most competing in their first-ever USA Basketball event. The 757 Hurricanes (6th grade), Norfolk Hurricanes (7th grade), Norfolk Legacy (9th grade) and BWSL-Playmakers (10th grade) earned berths to the US Open Championships in July as division winners.
Prior to this year’s Gold Camp, Johnson previously served as head coach of 757 Elite 14u, which captured the inaugural USA Basketball 14u national championship in 2017. Currently, Johnson is a graduate assistant coach at Hampton University. Johnson is also a volunteer coach for a local youth soccer team.
Johnson will head to Atlanta, Georgia later this month for the USA Basketball Girls Gold Camp. He will again serve as one of the camp’s instructors. Johnson also hopes to add future USA Basketball events in the Hampton Roads area.
“I’m just excited about the future. I know there are plans to grow the FIBA 3×3 tournament and I want to be a part of that,” Johnson added.