|Dominique Johnson (Photo Credit: Chris Covatta/NBAE/Getty Images)|
Dominique Johnson, the 24-year-old from Detroit, Mich., began playing for the Texas Legends in January. The 6í4Ē guard played at Azusa Pacific University and was named to the 2010 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-America First Team. Before playing at Azusa Pacific, Johnson played in Memphis Tenn., at Southwest Tennessee Community College. He was drafted by the Idaho Stampede in the 2010 NBA Development League Draft, but was cut after training camp and was picked up by the Legends after he attended tryout camps. Get to know Dominique better, what he thinks of the Texas heat and why one of his nicknames is D WadeÖ
What was one of the best things about playing for Texas during their inaugural season?
Being a part of such a first-class organization. Since it was my first time playing as a professional basketball player, it was great to come to a team and a community that treats the players so well. Having travelled around the league, I can honestly say that Legends games are the best in the D-League.
What have you been doing during the offseason to prepare for next year?
Iím currently in Sacramento working out with my trainer. I work out about five times a week. Iím also playing in the San Francisco Pro-Am League. Overall, Iím just getting ready for next season and working on improving my game so I can play multiple positions. I canít wait for the season to get here and get back to showing everyone what I can do.
What is your jersey number and why?
I wear number 9. Initially, there was nothing special behind it because I joined the team in the middle of the season and that was the number that was available. Now, itís my favorite number because it was my first professional number and I hope to wear it next season. To me, the number 9 now represents the opportunity that the Legends gave me and that I am looking to make the most of.
What are you looking forward to about next year?
Interacting with the kids and fans more. I am looking forward to hopefully being with the team the whole year Ė unless I can get an NBA call-up. The best part last year was the kids and signing autographs so Iím definitely looking forward to that next season. I just want to become an even bigger part of the community in Frisco.
What was the transition like going from Azusa Pacific to playing in the D League?
The biggest transition was getting used to the difference in the college and NBA playing rules. Also, the game in the D-League seemed faster at first. Iíve always been a fast guy, but I had to make the transition and control it Ė I think I made the adjustment pretty well.
How did it feel when you were picked up by the Legends?
It felt great. It was a relief and a burden off my shoulders. Now, thereís more pressure to keep my spot because so many people are in the same position I was in last season. It was definitely a relief, but at the same time, I had to stay focused and motivated. The whole organization did a great job of making me feel welcome though, and helping me through that transition.
Who were your role models while you were growing up?
My brother and father. Iím the youngest of 10 kids. My brother played basketball when we were young and I would watch his games and run onto the courts. When I started playing when I got older, my family made sure to keep me on the right track both on and off the court.
Do you have any nicknames?
I have a lot of nicknames. One of them though is ĎD Wadeí because of the resemblance between us, but I donít really use that living in Dallas. Someone actually tweeted a picture of me to the real D-Wade and he replied saying he could see the resemblance too. Besides that, people call me DJ, DoJo, and Dom.
What is one of the best parts about working with Donnie, Del, Spud and Nancy?
Being around them because theyíre all Legends in the basketball world. I grew up watching them and the Mavericks. Now, being able to be in Dallas and be coached by and working for the people that everyone loves is like a dream come true.
What future goals do you have for yourself?
I always want to get better, and I would love to play in the NBA. If that doesnít happen, I want to just be successful playing basketball. I love the game and Iím going to do what I love.
Being from Michigan, how are you handling the Texas heat?
I spent two summers in Memphis, Tenn., and there have been a few scorchers in California this summer so Iím kind of used to it. You just have to get in the swimming pool sometimes Ė when Iím in Frisco I love to hang out at the pool at the Residences at Frisco Square. I canít swim very well but I get in there to cool off. Iím not complaining though because Dallas is a beautiful city.