When Robert Johnson Sr. and Tamara Johnson learned they were having a son, it was a celebration. Now the couple has three sons, all of which attended or currently attend L.C. Bird High School. Johnson is living a dream as, beginning in fall 2015, there’s a very good chance he’ll have three sons playing Division-I sports.
“It’s been really awesome to raise these boys and I thank God that I’ve been able to experience this,” said Johnson Sr. “It’s fun giving them pointers and teaching them.”
Eldest son, Robert, started off with prospects of being a football player. He was long, fast and versatile, playing all over the field in association ball. That changed as Johnson developed and grew (6’3) into a basketball player. Johnson broke out during his sophomore season at L.C. Bird in 2010 where the Skyhawks were state runner-ups. He then reclassified after his junior season, transferring to Benedictine College Preparatory. Benedictine won the VISAA Division I state championship in 2013.
“It was a tough decision to let Robert transfer,” said Johnson. “It provided him with more structure and helped him mature and be self-sufficient.”
That maturity and structure will be needed, as after a recruiting frenzy, he signed with the University of Indiana to play basketball this upcoming season, where he’ll become an instant local celebrity on the hardwood.
Yahkee Johnson enjoyed playing basketball growing up as well, but consistently impressed on the gridiron with his speed. The middle brother announced his presence on the football field with the Skyhawks as a junior, rushing for 2,313 yards and 25 touch downs and followed that up with 2,509 yards and 36 touch downs as a senior.
To shore up his test scores, Johnson opted to attend Nassau Community College in Hampstead, New York, where he had a great freshman year, leading the team in rushing with 790 yards and seven touchdowns. Yahkee will be a captain for the team in 2014 as a sophomore, and has drawn interest from Troy, Kent State, Buffalo and Kentucky to potentially transfer.
Youngest son, Malik, is currently a junior at L.C. Bird and has lettered in basketball since his freshman year. The point guard is 5’ 7, but possesses excellent quickness, good instincts and leadership. He also plays a great offensive game built off of his speed. The junior has drawn interest from Kennesaw State, American, Longwood, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Mount St. Mary’s. Malik averaged eight points and four assists per game as Bird fell in the region semi-finals to Henrico.
One may expect a great deal of competition between three brothers that are all talented athletes, but there is a great support system among the brothers, who all have calm demeanors and laid back personalities.
Johnson Sr. recalls the biggest challenge as effectively managing time between his three sons, making sure no one feels left out.
“When things were crazy with Robert and recruiting, I had to make sure Yahkee and Malik didn’t feel left out,” explained Johnson.
In total, over 40 colleges and universities have contacted Johnson about his sons, and that list could continue to grow.
“It’s been a blessing,” said Johnson Sr. “It’s going to be a challenge to figure out how to watch all three of them in college, though,” he laughed.