Reynolds freshman forward Tobias Johnson opens up to The Chronicle

Tobias Johnson is a freshman at Reynolds high and a standout forward for the JV basketball team.

Reynolds freshman forward Tobias Johnson opens up to The Chronicle
February 02
03:00 2017

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Height, athleticism, leaping ability and offensive aggression are qualities that most coaches look for in a player.  Along with solid intangibles, Reynolds freshman forward Tobias Johnson encompasses all of these skills and more.

Tobias’ path to the game of basketball was forged from conversations with his uncle Michael “Pop Bottle” Thomas.  Thomas was a Forsyth County standout for Reynolds High back in the mid to late ’80s.  Johnson said after hearing the stories from his uncle he wanted to give the game a try because he would love to travel the world one day.

On the court Johnson is a prolific scorer and had a standout game during the Lash/Chronicle tournament against Winston-Salem Prep, in which he scored 35 points.  Johnson is the go-to guy for the Demons offensively.  He feels as though his strong suit on the court is his ability to drive to the basket with ease.  He says he needs to concentrate on hustling every play and not having any defensive lapses.

Tobias says he loves playing in the big time moments of the game.  For him the bright lights means it’s his time to shine.

“Pressure does motivate me more because for some players when they are pressured they don’t know what to do,” said Johnson.  “For me performing under pressure tells people that you really want it and wont shy away from the moment.  I just want to show people that I want that moment when it comes.”

Demon head coach Mike McCulloch says Johnson has a good basket-ball IQ and has great athleticism.  He says Johnson is a coachable kid that works very hard.

“He is pretty smart out there and I think he knows how to use his abilities for the best of the team,” said McCulloch.  “He always smiles and nods and does what I ask of him during practice.  I praise his work ethic in general and he has a bright future ahead of him.”

McCulloch says that Johnson has progressed tremendously since the beginning of the season. He says that Johnson has worked hard on his fundamentals and passing ability.

“I’ve coached for 24 years and I’ve probably had a handful of kids that have played Division I basket-ball and Tobias has that potential, I really believe that,” McCulloch went on to say.  “I say that because he does his work in practice as well as in the classroom.”

Johnson’s father, Shun Gibbs, says at the age of 11 or 12, he could see the potential in Johnson and is not shocked by his development.

“When he was smaller, I could see it in him because he would work, his work ethic is unbelievable,” Gibbs said.  “I know he is going somewhere and I’m not just talking basketball but in life.”

Johnson says he looks up to players like Kevin Durant, Paul George, Lebron James, Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving. He says if he could choose a college it would be the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study physical therapy.  His favorite subject in school is math.

Johnson credits his teammates first and foremost for the success he has had on the court.  He says they make him a better player. He also wanted to credit the coaching staff for developing his skills along with highlighting the things he needs to work on. He says the goal for the remainder of the season is to win the conference.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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