New West Virginia basketball assistant DerMarr Johnson is excited to get on the road recruiting for his new team. Johnson, a Washington, D.C. native, will use his connections to improve the recruiting for WVU.
“With Cincinnati, I wasn’t able to go out on the road but they used me a lot in recruiting. I’ve got a lot of connections,” Johnson said. “I think that part will be easier for me because I know so many people from the DC area. I’ve got so many people that want to help me.”
Johnson was a top-rated player in the 1999 class and a McDonald’s All-American. Johnson was a one-and-done player under Bob Huggins at Cincinnati and was drafted No. 6 in the NBA draft. Johnson played seven seasons in the NBA and played professionally until 2016.
After being a highly touted high school prospect and professional basketball player, Johnson hopes to use his connections made through the years.
“In [DC], I have a lot of influence. All of those guys running those teams used to coach me or play with me. A lot of those guys look up to me,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to being able to at least show my face at these tournaments and events now. I do think I’ll have a big impact in that area, just have to find out what coach [Huggins] wants and go get it.”
Johnson was first hired by former Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin as a student assistant in 2017 when he was finishing out his degree. Current UC head coach Wes Miller brought Johnson back as the director of player development.
Huggins hired Johnson on Monday to replace long-time assistant Larry Harrison.
“I brought DJ in here because I fully believe DJ will do a terrific job recruiting for us,” Huggins said. “I’ve said multiple times we haven’t done the job we needed to do in DC. DerMarr is a legend in DC.”
Huggins admitted that his staff have not recruited the DMV area well, stating that ex-WVU coach Gale Catlett did a better job.
West Virginia does not have any high school commits currently but have hosted top prospects in the 2024 and 2025 classes recently.
While Johnson is finding a new home in the Morgantown area, it won’t be long until the former Bearcat is back on the road for recruits.