Luster’s Turn to Shine for Consortium

24 Oct

-61f8fb0343b575c8-sized (1)Detroit Consortium junior Luster Johnson stood breathless at the Breslin Center last March.  His Consortium Cougars had just captured the Class C state championship.

“It was a very big moment being that it was our first ever school championship,” Johnson said.  “And knowing Consortium’s history of having so many good teams and players.”

Although the Cougars will enter the new season eager to defend their hardware, the task became increasingly difficult compared to last season over the Summer. Gone from a year ago is Josh Jackson, the consenus number one national recruit in the country’s 2016 class.  Jackson decided to finish his remaining two years of eligibility at Prolific Prep in California. The 6’7″ swing-man averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists per game for Consortium.

“We are family,” noted Johnson.  “And he was always on me, in school or out on the court.  I was forced to play defense on him in most of the practices.”

“But that’s what made me better, and I can say that also made him better.”

Along with having played alongside Jackson during the school year, Johnson also had the opportunity to play travel basketball on Josh’s AAU team, Under Armour 1Nation.  Despite the two playing in separate age groups, Johnson was able to challenge himself in the 16u division against quality competition and better his game on a weekly basis.  A 6’2″ scoring combo guard, Johnson said he improved his perimeter shooting over the off-season, developing various ways to attack the basket, and becoming an impact defender, while adding collegiate interest from U of D Mercy, Florida A&M, and Youngstown State.  Luster notes he learned the high school game after another successful Consortium guard, Travon Baker, an All-State graduate of 2012, who accepted a scholarship to Northern Illinois to further his basketball career.

The base of the Consortium program is built around family.  When Coach Al Anderson tragically passed away in the winter of 2013, it only brought the Cougar community closer.  Last year’s team embodied the term family, two-three seniors routinely started every game and while others played their own unique individuals roles in path to winning the championship.  This upcoming campaign is significant on many levels.  First, Consortium moves from Class C to Class B, and second, only two returning starter come back from last season.  Luster acknowledges Jackson at times during the year made it easier on his teammates to succeed, but Consortium was a collective unit.  According to Johnson, the absence of Josh only gives Consortium added drive to outwork their opponents just a little bit more.

“People don’t think we have a chance cause we lost Josh,” Johnson remarked. “But they don’t know that the two games we played without him, we won by 30.”

“So they better not rest on us this year.”

Johnson undoubtedly enters his junior year as the leader of the team, as he averaged 12 points, and four assists and steals each game last year, even earning his way into the starting lineup for a majority of the season. Luster, or Pookie as he is referred to, still believes his team can reach their championship aspirations this upcoming season.  He wants to lead by example this year, he stated he got into the off-season condition program more this Summer than he had in years past, and developed a higher IQ for the game.  But still something else fuels Luster’s drive to achieve.  When Consortium won the crown, Luster said he was the first to do something big in his family.  This season, however, Luster and his Consortium Cougars will take a different path to success, one of perseverance, confidence, and most importantly, a sense of togetherness.

“Everyone plays a role in the CCP (Consortium) roster,” Lusted said.  “It will be a challenge, we just have to come together as team, we are just waiting our turn to have a chance to prove ourselves.

 

 

 

One Response to “Luster’s Turn to Shine for Consortium”

  1. Joseph Frye October 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    Our team motto was “we are one” during my prep days. Good luck in your class.

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