Spurs’ ‘country strong’ Keldon Johnson plans to pack on more…

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson entered the league last season with an NBA-ready body that he has put to good use in an impressive sophomore season.

But that doesn’t mean the 21-year-old Virginian can’t get even stronger.

“He is country strong right now,” Spurs guard Derrick White said.

In a Zoom interview with reporters last week — before the Spurs went on a COVID-19 hiatus — Johnson acknowledged he has “a lot of room to grow and get stronger.”

“I trust our strength coaches and the plan they have laid out for me,” he said. “At the end of the year, we are going to go back to the grind.”

White expects Johnson to come back even more powerful next season. For now, though, Johnson is sidelined while going through the NBA’s health and safety protocols along with White, Rudy Gay, rookie Devin Vassell and Quinndary Weatherspoon.

“I am excited for his future,” White said last week. “I see the way he works, how he wants to get better. That’s a big thing. I try to help him as much as I can. I love playing with him. Like I’ve said this whole time, he’s just got a lot of energy and passion.”

With his muscle-packed, broad-shouldered 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame and relentless nature, Johnson has been a beast on the boards, averaging 7.0 rebounds per contest. Only point guard Dejounte Murray (7.2) has a better per-game output for the Spurs.


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Tom Orsborn

Tom Orsborn

San Antonio Express-News

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Sportswriter for 35 years at San Antonio Express-News, covering everything from preps to the Cowboys to the Spurs. Proud San Antonio College alum.