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No summer vacation for Johnson

If Zane Johnson has a flaw in his basketball game, dedication is not it.

And what ever else he needs to work on, he will this summer. Johnson, who was the team’s leading scorer last season, will remain in Honolulu the entire summer to train for his upcoming senior season.

“I want to come into the season in the best shape of my life,” he said. “Have all my skills refined and just ready to go. This is my last shot. This is my last college go-around … I wan to go out with a bang.”

Every other scholarship player on the Hawaii roster eligible to return next season returned to their respective hometowns on the mainland after the school semester ended on May 13. Johnson, who is from Phoenix, Arizona, has been training daily with administrative assistant Nick Milan and strength coach Chris McMillan.

“I feel at home here; I don’t have to leave, I don’t have to worry about flights,” Johnson said. “I can do what I’ve done all year and just work out and get better.”

Johnson, a 6-foot-6 guard, led the Warriors in scoring last season with 15.8 points per game, and set a UH single-season record for 3-pointers with 98.

His summer project is simply to improve. His daily workout sessions normally last around two hours, and he’ll often put up close to 1,000 shots a day.

In typical Johnson fashion, he gets frustrated with every missed shot – although he doesn’t miss very often. During a recent workout, he made 43 of 50 shots from 3-point range with a defending hand in his face from Milan.

But Johnson’s shooting prowess was evident last season, so he is focusing on other aspects of his game. In particular, he would like to improve his ball handling, mid-range shooting, and one-on-one attacks.

Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold has stated that he would not hesitate to rely on Johnson as a point guard, if necessary, next season.

“That’s why he told me to work on ball handling all summer, and work on coming off screen-and-rolls, looking to attack a little more,” Johnson said. “If I need to come out there and relieve to play point guard a little bit, that’s fine.”

6 Comments

  1. Great to hear he’s working on his handling too. Depending on how the new recruits pan out, having him at PG for short spurts will be yet another way for Gib to keep the best players on the court. 43 of 50 > me shooting free throws

  2. Keep up the great work ethic Zane. We’ll be in the stands cheering you on when the season rolls around.

  3. I can’t wait for basketball season! Zane is leading by example. Its all about the work ethic.

  4. Good to see Zane so dedicated in getting better. Lead by example.Hope you have a monster senior season.

  5. Zane should be able to flourish with a true point guard in Shaq Stokes distributing the ball. He can be able to spot and pop from all over the floor now that he’s got someone who can penetrate and dish to him on the wings. Plus with Vander down low probably creating double teams this year, Zane could slide and pop with the kick out. I could see him averaging upwards towards 20 a game…

  6. Check out Coach Nick Milan dunk at 1:55 in the background. Very impressive.

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