Read here about Dakari Johnson’s ‘fatherless’ home, the struggling days, repeated house-changing and his burgeoning career!

Dakari Johnson’s hardy early days

American basketball player Dakari Johnson’s father had supposedly deserted the family. His mother Makini Campbell had alone raised her two kids; Dakari Johnson and younger son Kamani Johnson. Dakari Johnson’s mother had taken training in elementary school teaching and also done a Master’s in School Counseling. She worked as a guidance counselor at Brooklyn with her parents. But the surroundings were not safe. Dakari Johnson was once chased by the bad street boys and had also glass bottles hurled at him. Makini decided to shift to Kentucky for her children’s good future. Makini Campbell lost her job and the family had to shift to New Jersey, and after that to Montverde Academy. Dakari Johnson has not forgotten his tough early childhood days and in fact, acquired inspiration from those hardships. Speaking of his mother’s sacrifices, uncle Kojo had said:

“She’s made a lot of sacrifices for those boys and she’s had to balance a lot of roles. It’s what we embody as a family, that our children take precedence.”

Source: Twitter (Mother Makini Campbell with little Dakari and Kamani Johnson)
Source: Twitter (Mother Makini Campbell with little Dakari and Kamani Johnson)

Dakari Johnson’s great family support and understanding Coaches

In the initial days, Dakari Johnson and his mother and brother resided with his mother’s family in a shady neighborhood of Brooklyn. The family and his mother were always worried about Dakari Johnson’s safety and would never leave him alone. They used to keep a close watch on him and at the same time provided him the freedom to pursue the game he liked the most. Dakari’s mother, his grandfather Leslie Campbell and his maternal uncle Kojo Black were all basketball players of their time. They would play with him and help him practice his game. That helped Dakari Johnson to improvise and improve on his game. He was also fortunate enough to get a good coach in Kevin Boyle at New Jersey. Dakari Johnson and his family followed Kevin Boyle when he took a transfer from New Jersey to Montverde Academy. Kevin Boyle says about Dakari Johnson:

“Dakari understood the game but was slow and overweight and had plenty to learn.”

His senior Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was also very supportive of Dakari Johnson. He polished Dakari Johnson and his various moves and techniques. Defending his presence around Dakari Johnson Michael Kidd-Gilchrist says:

“I wanted to show him the way, show him I was there for him, I think it helped. We really just clicked.”

Source: Zagsblog (Dakari Johnson with Coach Kevin Boyle)
Source: Zagsblog (Dakari Johnson with Coach Kevin Boyle)

A flourishing career ahead

In spite of all odds, Dakari Johnson with the support of his mother and extended family and the training from his sympathetic coaches and seniors managed to drive ahead and make it to the NBA League tournaments. He has not let his hardships get over him and has kept his cool and goodness throughout. He is fun-loving and humorous and maintains an ever-smiling face. His coach Kevin Boyle praises Dakari and says that he is efficient and crafty and difficult to stop. Boyle goes on to say:

“He keeps the game at his speed and is always relaxed,”

Dakari Johnson bestows great love on his brother Kamani and in spite of all his commitments spares time to be with his brother and mother. He says:

“I love Kamani and want to be a father-figure to him, I do everything I can to be a good brother.”

Source: Courier-Journal (Dakari Johnson at play)
Source: Courier-Journal (Dakari Johnson at play)

Short bio on Dakari Johnson

Dakari Johnson is an American sports celebrity. He plays basketball for the ‘Oklahoma City Blue’ of the NBA Development League. He is a five-star recruit and obtained the rank of No. 2 center at the national level in 2013. He has earned the NBA D-League All-Rookie team Honors. More Bio…