Thursday, August 15, 2013

Johnson signs one-year deal to play with team in Poland

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson encourages strong play from his teammates against Texas Christian during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Elijah Johnson encourages strong play from his teammates against Texas Christian during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Former Kansas University basketball combo guard Elijah Johnson has signed a one-year contract with Anwil Wloclawek, a professional team based in Wloclawek, Poland.

The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder from Las Vegas, who averaged 9.9 points and 4.6 assists last season for 31-6 KU, joins Central Florida’s Keith Clanton, who also signed with the Polish League team this week. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is a player with great potential with an athletic physique and strength,” Anwil coach Milija Bogicevic said on the team’s official website. “These advantages can be used not only in attack (on offense) but also on defense which in our European basketball is very important. In recent years, regularly playing in the NCAA (tournament) ... this is another important experience for players like Johnson,” Bogicevic added.

Johnson on Thursday texted a message to the Journal-World to pass onto supporters prior to his traveling to Poland.

“I love KU and all our fans. The fieldhouse is the best stage, yet. ‘Pay Heed All Who Enters,’’’ wrote Johnson. He played for the Los Angles Clippers in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League, averaging 4.2 points and 1.2 assists per game.

Former KU guard Travis Releford also has a one-year pro contract for the coming season. He’ll play for Okapi Aalstar, a team in Belgium.

Rally tonight: The eighth-annual KU Kickoff at Corinth Square (83rd and Mission Road in Prairie Village) will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., today. KU basketball coaches Bill Self and Bonnie Henrickson, track coach Stanley Redwine and football coach Charlie Weis will address the fans at the rally. The cover band Sellout! will perform from 7 to 10 p.m.

Camp coming: Self, Thomas Robinson and Ben McLemore will host a basketball camp for boys and girls grades 1-to-12 from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday and Sunday in Allen Fieldhouse. To sign up for the camp go to the Web address

Junior narrows list: Malachi Richardson, a 6-5 junior shooting guard from Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, N.J., has narrowed his list of schools to KU, Syracuse, UConn, Indiana, North Carolina, Rutgers, Ohio State, Georgetown, Florida, Miami, Villanova and Arizona, reports. He is ranked No. 19 in the Class of 2015.

Aldrich to Kings?: NBA free agent/former KU center Cole Aldrich worked out for the Sacramento Kings on Monday, reports. Aldrich finished last season with the Kings, averaging 3.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 11.7 minutes per game (15 games). Aldrich became a free agent in July when the Kings declined to exercise the 2013-14 option on his rookie contract. ESPN New York reports that the New York Knicks are also looking at possibly acquiring the 24-year-old Aldrich.


Ralster Jayhawk 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Good luck, Elijah!!! "Jayhawk For Life", baby! Stay STRONG!


kay_you 8 months ago

Jayhawk Nation loves you EJ. Always will.


Teejay Roden 8 months ago

I wish EJ the best! I felt bad for him last year when he was getting blamed for everything short of global warming. He was a pretty good #2 guard and tried to play PG b/c that's what KU needed. He was much better with Tyshawn handling the ball, although TT made me pull my hair out at times too.


jaybate 8 months ago

First Self signed Elijah.

Then he tried to sign Josiah.

Now he is in the hunt for Malachi.

Is this building to something biblical, or what?


jaybate 8 months ago

Eljh Jnsn wil play for Wloclawek, Plnd.


Preston Dwiggins 8 months ago

Is the article about EJ going to play in Poland or ja_hok91's comment? I personally loved EJ's play for 3 year's. I don't know what happened other than playing out of position his senior year. I'm proud to call EJ a Jayhawk; however, I did not like the nut check in the first few minutes of the Michigan game. That doesn't make us look very good. Having said all that, the nut check or his senior season does not make me think any less of EJ. He always gave it his all. I too hope EJ finds his way to the NBA.


KansasComet 8 months ago

Mario Chalmers and Elijah Johnson are the two players from Kansas that wanted the ball in crunch time.

In this Michigan game, did anyone else even act like they wanted the ball when the game got tight? This is why Kansas lost games to UNI, VCU, and Michigan. We have the talent, but we need closers.


KUfanInFlorida 8 months ago

Elijah made a lot of mistakes in that Michigan game, but I am not going to blame him entirely because when it comes down to it, it's a team game. He is not a true point guard. Bill Self really had no choice but to play him because he whiffed on a lot of point guards in recruiting.

I am hoping that either Tharpe or Mason will be able to run this team without making a lot of turnovers down the stretch.

I am glad EJ and Rele were able to get on a team overseas. Best of luck to them!!!


KUsmoothies 8 months ago

Thanks for waiting your turn EJ. Thanks for the memories, good and bad. You're a loyal Jayhawk and I got nothin but love for ya my dude. Best of luck to you. Put yo shoes on!!!


KULA 8 months ago

Don't blame EJ for the Michigan loss. Bill Self made him the player that he was. I remember when EJ came here as one of the top rated guards in the country. I remember seeing flashes of his athleticism that made him look like a potential highlight reel player. I remember intelligent posters on this board calling for him to play over Tyshawn. I remember wondering on this board why he couldn't get 5-10 per game to develop on 30+ win teams that regularly enjoyed 20 point leads.

And I remember Bill's treatment of EJ. I remember Captain Hook's yanking of any bench player after one mistake. I remember his harsh benching of EJ in the KState game when EJ showed some competitive fire on a flat team. I remember wondering on this board what this constant "you're not good enough" treatment would do to a player's confidence. I wondered how this negative reinforcement would affect a player when he had to take a clutch shot at the end of a game.

And I remember EJ's senior season when he never really looked comfortable being the floor leader. I remember Bill saying we don't have a point guard. I remember EJ hardly ever looking confident in his shot. And I remember all too well the the Michigan game. EJ obviously cracked under the pressure. A sports psychologist might even argue that he tried to take himself out of the game early. And in the end, when it came down to the biggest shot of his career, EJ...passed.

That's what I remember about EJ. And Bill.


wrwlumpy 8 months ago

Is Jo Jo playing on an 8 ft. goal?

2014 Prospect Kansas Jayhawk Joel Embiid at Adidas Nations in California 2013 by MrQwik11


Steve Gantz 8 months ago

If EJ isn't playing in that Michigan game would we have been in a position to blow a big lead late? Not likely, we probably would have had to come back ourselves to win.


wrwlumpy 8 months ago

  1. EJ Poland
  2. Travis Belgium

RockChalk26 8 months ago

That Burke shot should have never went up. EJ plowing over McGary was clearly a defensive foul. McGary should have been on the line.


Tony Bandle 8 months ago

Blaming EJ for the Michigan Loss.

1] I gues we forget about BenMac fouling a guy on a three point shot making it a four point play and keeping the tie possible.

2] I guess we forget that no one came back to help EJ in trouble bringing the ball over the half court line or HCBS mind-cramped and didn't call a timeout.

3] I guess we forget about Coach Self not fouling Burke before trying his three.

4] I guess we forget that there wasn't someone in his face the moment he got the ball. It worked against Curry and Davidson in 2008..what was different now???

5] I guess we forget that EJ made 3/4 clutch free throws.

6] Yep, I guess it was single-handedly, without question, man-on-an-island, totally and unequivically, all EJ's fault!!!!!

What a bunch of tools if anyone thinks #6 is correct!!!



coloradojayhawk 8 months ago

People are acting like Burke had a gimme shot. He still hit a really long three to tie it - could it have been foreseen? Sure, but he still had to hit it. This is not all on EJ or Self. Michigan still had to win it.


Brett McCabe 8 months ago

I read that all of the centers in the Polish league went out and bought cups after hearing about EJ's signing. One question: do they have a 10-second half-court violation in Europe?


Cameron Cederlind 8 months ago That's awesome.


Jack Wilson 8 months ago

Self says after the Ok. St. game that we don't have a point guard, and throws EJ under the bus. Then in the most important game of the season (obviously, because we got eliminated), he sticks with the guy that he trashed, and who is obviously off of his game. Why?

He just goes off feel. He goes with the guys he thinks will give him the best chance to win at that particular moment. Purely his judgment.

Sometimes he chooses wrong. Sometimes his approach leads to defeats. Most of the time it leads to wins .. 80 some % of the time. The NCAA losses are just magnified because losing that last game is, in truth, losing the most important game of the season.

Although he obviously had frustration with EJ, he was loyal, as mentioned above.

During that game, though, it is undeniable that Tharpe was the better choice. Most all of us saw it a the time, not just in hindsight. Most of us are quite confident in saying that if Self plays Tharpe over EJ down the stretch there, we win. Not a guarantee, of course.

And as many have posted already, foul the three point shooter. Push the perimeter; not guard the perimeter .. push the perimeter with four on the arc. Meaning, the four on the arc push to foul wherever the ball goes. One just behind to chase just in case there is a pass that evades the push. Self clearly did not give the order to foul. And KY just gave Burke too much room. Self claimed that he wouldn't have fouled at eight seconds when he went into his shot .. but that was revisionist history. He went into his shot at 6.4 seconds. Of course you foul.

But a big problem is that we had two guys guarding deep into the arc .. meaning the only place they tie it is on the perimeter, and we have two guys (McLemore and Releford well inside the arc). Burke had said that their plan was to try to get a quick two. We shut that off switching out top and preventing a pass into the lane. We made them take the game tying 3. This was just problematic as not fouling. Give them the two. Clock runs. We shoot two more free throws.

Self blew it late in that game, as REHawk and hotrodm said.

And all we had on the final possession after that was to let EJ try to get to the rim. Self's response when asked ... "poor execution."


jnicho03 8 months ago

Has anyone heard if T-Rob is making any appearances or signing autographs any where in Lawrence this weekend while he is in town for the camp?


Michael Pannacciulli 8 months ago

I love how when recruits trim their list to 25 schools that seems to be news worthy.

Cole if he doesn't get picked up should have his agents call Poland or Belgium soon too. The man has not seen any signigicant action since he was at KU.

EJ is going to make a living in Europe. He, much like Tyshawn is an acquired taste but eventually you find that he has the heart and desire - and he is loyal to the Crimson and

What is KY up to???


REHawk 8 months ago

As for that loss to Michigan, I am still laying the end of game meltdown on Bill's shoulders. If he denies responsibility then we are bound to see future repetition. Yeah, Burke got unbelievably hot and in control, the kind of thing that often happens when one player goes on a tear (e.g UCon and Syracuse) in NCAA tournament games. But we had some closing winning options which lay dormant. Bill chose to play his cards with EJ...and, like Calipari, did not foul. Perhaps something noble in the former; but quizzical, the latter.


Ian Emerson 8 months ago

It was a mistake by Self for being do fiercely loyal to his senior guards. Kinda feel like he needed to keep EJ in to prove to future prospects that if they put the work in and stay for multiple years, they WILL play in crunch time over their younger teammates Of the same position.


hotrodm 8 months ago

Blame Coach Self for the loss. Self should have had the guys foul at the half court line. KU was up by 3 points when Burke hit the shot to tie it up. If you foul you more than likely are still up by one with a few ticks left and win the game. EJ played poorly, but Self coached just as bad as EJ played. Didn't Coach Self remember the National Championship game in 08, when Memphis did not foul and Mario hit the 3 to tie it up. Everyone said Calapari should have fouled KU and sent KU to the line.


Dirtyphog 8 months ago

It's easy to bash the "captain" but without him we would've never made the ship a couple years ago, he was a killer as a 2 guard. He was forced into a position he was unfamiliar with and ku still won the league and got a 1 seed. The ej bashing needs to stop, he's a jayhawk. Best of luck ej, I know you are gonna kill it in the euro.


KansasComet 8 months ago

Good luck to EJ. One of my favorite Jayhawks. Will never forget the 39 that he put on ISU. One of the best comebacks in Kansas Basketball History!


KJD 8 months ago

Self, Thomas Robinson and Ben McLemore are hosting a basketball camp. Sign me up!...Oh, I'm decades too old. If I still lived in Lawrence I might have to adopt a 1st-12th grader for the weekend, or fly back then kidnap my Missouri Tiger loving step-brothers children and baptize them forever in Crimson and Blue!! Hey, that is a new, secret movement for all Jayhawks living near Kansas City. Tell Missouri fans with children that you would like to take their kids to Worlds of Fun for the day and actually take them to a Jayhawk basketball camp.


jhawkinaz 8 months ago

A true jayhawk fan doesn't hold that type of grudge towards any player, especially a guy that gave his all for 4 years ,yeah he had his ups and downs through out his career but he is always a jayhawk in my eyes, good luck ej in you new journey


ku2004daniel 8 months ago

whoops i forgot....

You too Relly fo really reals!

Belgium sounds like heaven! (don't eat too much of the chocolate!)


ku2004daniel 8 months ago

EJ is a one talented funny cat...errr I mean hawk....

I luv #15 put-yo-shoeson-EJ Johnson

Eventhough I luv the class with which Bill Self and KU players almost always conduct themselves, if I was EJ I might have been tempted to do exactly what he did to Mitchy's pennys too....that whiny floppin sonsabeeswax McMitchy!

Anyways Rock Chalk EJ go gettum! tear Euroball up!



Steve Corder 8 months ago

So, you wish him well while in the same breath say his mere sight makes you sick? Surely you must not mean one of those comments.


JayHawkFanToo 8 months ago

EJ played his heart out and was a loyal Jayhawk and will always be part of the KU family. Best of luck to him; hopefully some day he makes it to the NBA.


SEKrep 8 months ago

Without him, we don't get to the title game last year


ja_hok91 8 months ago

Looking at him still makes me sick to my stomach.... Never have I held one player responsible for a loss like I did Johnson for the Michigan game. That being said, I wish him the best.


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