Virginia Tech’s James Johnson first took notice of Warren Craft ‘s abilities in the 2011/2012 season. The 6’2″, 160-pound Craft, then a freshman, was a starter on William Fleming High’s (Roanoke, VA) varsity basketball squad, and Johnson was an assistant to Tech head coach Seth Greenberg.
In April, Greenberg was dismissed as Hokies head coach, and ultimately he was replaced by Johnson. So when the William Fleming standout shooting guard took the court at Tech’s Elite Camp this summer, Johnson was now Hokies head coach. Craft impressed, earning an offer from Tech’s new head man.
“Coach Johnson had seen Warren play last year. He liked what he saw from Warren as a 14-year old freshman. At the Elite Camp, Warren played well against older kids. He had a good showing,” said Fleming boys varsity basketball head coach Mickey Hardy, who was at Tech’s Elite Camp.
Last Thursday night, Craft decided to accept Coach Johnson’s scholarship offer. He is Virginia Tech’s first commitment from the class of 2015, and he is also Johnson’s first high school recruit as Hokies head coach.
“I think he just liked the whole atmosphere,” Hardy said, discussing the reasons behind Craft’s decision. “He has been up for a couple of games. He met the coaching staff. Coach Johnson has been talking to him. I think he has a good relationship with the coaching staff. Proximity is good. His mother wants him to be closer to home.”
Hardy added: “I thought Coach Johnson and Warren were connected. Coach Johnson did a fine job connecting with him. He has talked to him for a while.”
Craft averaged 12.3 points per game last season. The two-guard shot “a good percentage” from beyond the arc, Hardy says, and knocked down 82-percent of his free throws.
“He’s a good all-around kid,” said Hardy, who believes Craft will develop into a combo guard on the college level. Craft only played shooting guard last year but did see time at point guard this summer. “What has impressed me the most is the maturity he showed at this level, even though he is so young. When he does some bad things, I have to pinch myself and remind myself that he is just 14. I’m so used to him playing at a high level.
“I was impressed last year....
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