LTHS' Tavari Johnson goes up to shoot on June 19, 2021, during an RB Shootout game at Riverside Brookfield High School. (Alex Rogals/Staff Photographer)

Lyons Township High School boys basketball senior point guard Tavari Johnson has already shown that he is a team leader, and said he is ready to prove even more during his final season for the Lions.

Johnson, who was named the team’s Most Valuable Player last season, led the team in scoring averaging 16.6 points, four rebounds, 3.5 assists, and two steals per game in during a pandemic shortened season where the Lions sported an 11-6 record. Johnson was also named to the West Suburban Conference’s all-conference team.

“My experience at LT so far has been great,” he said. “I really love the school and my teammates. It is the place I want to be and I’m going to try to build off the chemistry that we have and continue to motivate everyone to reach our goal.”

Johnson’s coach, Tom Sloan, praised the Lions’ team leader, both as a gifted athlete and for his team-centric approach.

“Tavari was a very important part of the team and one of the big reasons we had success,” said Lions head coach Tom Sloan. “He’s a very talented player, and the thing I’m always the most impressed with is his vision on the floor, his unselfishness and his passing ability.

“Now that [Johnson] is one of the seniors, he’s a very vocal leader,” Sloan said. “He can be very disruptive on the defensive end. He’s developed a really good chemistry with his teammates and they really enjoy playing together. He’s always doing everything he can to help his teammates be better and encourage them to play hard and aggressive.”

Johnson began playing basketball in third grade as his older brother and cousins showed him the game, and he has loved it ever since, looking for ways to improve his game and lead the way for the Lions.

“I love the environment and energy that basketball brings,” he said. “It’s a game of runs, and when your team starts to make that run and gain momentum it’s one of the best feelings. Something that motivates me as I keep playing is knowing that I could really play basketball at the next level and have the chance to be known as one of the best to come out of LT.”

In addition to basketball, Johnson also enjoys playing other sports like football, baseball, and golf, as well as attending live sporting events, but his ultimate focus is to secure his place in LT history in basketball.

“My personal goal for this year is to take LT the farthest it’s been,” he said. I want to really leave my mark here as one of the best to play here.”