Johni Broome is one of the most talented hoopers from the Plant City area.
One of the key cogs in the Tampa Catholic boys basketball machine hails from right here in Plant City. Senior forward Johni Broome, who recently committed to Morehead State, is expected to play a major role with this year’s senior-heavy Crusaders squad as it attempts to at least get back to the FHSAA 5A state Final Four. Broome averaged a double-double (15.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game) and also led the Crusaders with 2.5 blocks per game in the 2018-19 season.
Know someone who deserves an Athlete of the Week feature? Email Justin Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org by the Friday before the next issue.
What are your goals for this season?
My number one goal is to win a state championship. I’m trying to get to 1,000 points this year. I’m trying to average about 20 points and 15 rebounds per game.
Your numbers have blown up since you started at Tampa Catholic. Where do you think your game’s improved the most since you started playing high school varsity basketball?
I feel like my IQ improved. I see the floor better and that allows me to do more things. I’ve got a better feel for rebounding and shooting. It almost feels like it comes naturally now, like I can play under control calm.
You all got to the Final Four last year. What lessons did you learn from that that you’re taking with you into this upcoming season?
We’ve got to stay together. We didn’t really play our best in that game, we kind of let life get to us a little bit. I feel like this year, we’ll come back prepared and everybody will be ready for the game and to play together.
What would you say you bring to the table as a player and a teammate?
I feel like I’m a leader on the court, helping my teammates out when they need it. I try and make the right play, whether that’s scoring or making an extra pass or getting a big-time rebound. I’m just trying to help my team out as best as I can.
What was it about Morehead State that made you want to commit to that program over others that were interested in you?
The big thing was communication. I feel like they really showed me that they cared. Not that other schools didn’t, but on the visit I got along with the coaches and players well. I like the campus. But when I talk with the coaches it’s not just about basketball. It’s about the family, my grades… they talk to me every week.
Your family’s got a pretty strong football background, but you’re heavily invested in hoops. What is it about basketball that you fell in love with?
I started playing at the YMCA when I was 9 and after that first year, I felt like I was… I felt like it fit me. I just kept playing, kept enjoying it.
What other sports do you play?
I played baseball for four years and played football, too.
Which NBA or college players have you looked up to?
My favorite player right now is James Harden. He’s a lefty, he’s not the fastest like I am or the most athletic, but he’s a crafty player that can get the job done every night.
What do you plan to major in when you get to college?
Business and sports management. I want to go to the NBA, but a degree is a great thing to have in case that doesn’t work.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done on a basketball court?
Dunk on somebody.
How do you get hyped for a game?
I listen to calm music when I put my uniform on, but then I listen to hype songs when I’m stretching out before the game. Then I go out and play.
What’s the best advice any coach has given you?
It’s “we” and not “me.” Play as a team, not selfishly.