INDIANAPOLIS, IN—JaJuan Johnson is on the verge of making his childhood dreams come true. The Franklin Central and Purdue product was drafted in the first around of the June NBA Draft and "should" start his professional basketball career in a couple months.
However, the NBA Lockout, has players like Johnson working out away from team facilities, waiting for good news.
"It's definitely tough, you get anxious, you just really want to get out there and and meet the guys," said Johnson Saturday.
While Johnson will have quite a welcome to the NBA experience when he suits up along side players like Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce, he is taking advantage of this unplanned breakmbefore he settles into the New England area.
Johnson helped organize a school supply and backpack giveaway for Indianapolis children on the East Side of Indianapolis.
"It's just a blessing to always be able to give back. My mom taught me at a young age to always give back and give thanks. I have a lot to be thankful for just in this past year," said Johnson shortly after high-fiving some children who look up to him.
Many of Johnson's family and friends offered their support in the event which he hopes will become an annual August tradition. In fact, forgive Johnson if he doesn't quite know what to do with himself as this is the first August in nearly 18 years that he hasn't been getting ready for classes himself right about now.
"I've got a lot of time on my hands, pretty much now my schedule is just working out. I have a lot of free time, so doing stuff like this, I definitely get some joy out of doing this," added Johnson.
While Johnson admitted he can't wait to meet some of his new teammates, he told Fox 59 that playing basketball in Europe is not an option he plans to pursue. However, Johnson's Purdue teammate and fellow Boston draft pick E'Twaun Moore is about to begin a season in Italy.
"I think he (Moore) leaves in two weeks. I just told him to do his thing out there, have fun, and enjoy the moment."
The Big Ten Player of the Year provided memorable moments to Purdue basketball fans over the last four years. It is great to see him continue to put smiles on the faces of children and adults as he gets ready to take his great basketball talents and positive attitude to the Boston Celtics.