Note: Travis Atkins, staff-writer at Project Spurs' affiliate site Toros Nation covering the San Antonio Spurs' D-League affiliate Austin Toros, recently did an in-depth interview with Toros guard Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson. In this interview, Johnson talks about growing up in a neighborhood where violence was common, never giving up on his dreams, suffering through Hurricane Katrina, and more.
By Travis Atkins, Toros Nation
Austin Toros point guard Carldell “Squeaky” Johnson is in his fourth year with the team, a rarity in a league where rosters change from day-to-day. Since his first year in 2007, Johnson has seen dozens of teammates come and go, some to the NBA, some to other professional teams and some just out of basketball.
Johnson has fallen into the category of a good player that everyone likes and is a team leader, but has never been able to break into the NBA. For Squeaky, whose road to Austin was long and rocky, playing for the Toros has not been a minor league struggle, but a dream realized.
“I never actually thought that I would be the guy that would be on the pedestal,” Johnson said. “Going to the NBA wasn’t the ultimate goal for me. For me it’s being successful and not doing things that my father wouldn’t agree of. With that being said, yeah I’ve made it and for me to continue playing basketball without actually thinking it’s a job or getting a job, I’m making it.”
Squeaky is having his best season yet with the Toros, averaging a career high in minutes (34.5), points (12.3) and assists (6.5). Overall, Johnson has enjoyed his time in Austin.
“It’s been great man,” Johnson said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs. I went from starting, to being a role player, to a guy that was just supporting the team in different ways. Now I got the job of starting and being part of the team and I’m excited about it.”
Johnson wants to keep playing basketball as long as possible and said he would love to be back with the Toros for a fifth season. If that doesn’t work out, he would be fine with playing somewhere overseas.
Squeaky, who was given his nickname by his aunt after a character from Laverne and Shirley (Squiggy), has had some stability the last four years as a member of the Toros, something he has not always had. Johnson was a senior star point guard at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit his hometown of New Orleans.
Click HERE for the complete article at Toros Nation.