“Somebody, please watch number 11!,” shouts a defender of the Richard Wright Public Charter School Spartans, as 11th grade Maurice Johnson dribbles down the court. Just moments before he scored the 1,000th point of his high school basketball career. A record that only 4 students have ever achieved in Chavez’s 24-year history.
On a Saturday afternoon of sunshowers, The Chavez Eagle’s gym was filled with droves of fans there to celebrate all-star-student athlete Maurice Johnson’s extraordinary accomplishment.
The big energy support of Johnson vibrated the gym, from a host of his family members to former teammates of all walks of life, and proud teachers. In the stands before half-time, the BRIDGE met Johnson’s cousin, Judah, an 11th grader at Wilson Senior High School. The BRIDGE asked Judah how his cousin’s hard work and dedication inspires him. He responded, I’m not an athlete but, I am passionate about photography. It inspires me to keep getting better at it.”
The Eagles dominated the Richard Wright Spartans by more than 20 points. After the game, Maurice Johnson was honored with a basketball that read, “ Moe Johnson 1,000 points,” grounded he held the iconic ball with pride as a long line of family and friends bombarded him for pictures. “His Instagram is about to be lit!” exclaimed, Jerome, a childhood friend of Johnson’s.
What people may not see on Instagram is the commitment and sacrifice behind the scenes. The BRIDGE asked Johnson what he had to put in to accomplish scoring a whopping 1,000 points as an 11th grader. He conveyed, “ It takes a lot of hours. I am grateful that my coaches have dedicated so much to me – Coach Mack, Coach Lou. It means so much to me to have this turnout of family and friends here to congratulate me.”
With already having achieved such a big milestone early in his high school career, The BRIDGE asked Johnson what he is setting out to conquer next. “We still haven’t got a championship yet, so we are competing for a championship before I graduate.”