PBA ROOKIE aspirant Franky Johnson is well aware of the physical nature of the game in the pro ranks. But then again, the Fil-Am guard believes he "thrives best when the game is physical and rough."
The 6-foot-2 Johnson pointed out that the Chooks-to-Go 3x3 league was a good experience for him as he faced physical players last year.
"I've proven myself in Chooks 3x3 against very physical players there, and me myself, I am a very physical and strong player so the physicality is the least of my worries," Johnson told ESPN5. "It's something I look forward to and thrive the best in when the game is physical and rough."
Johnson's hard work and dedication earned him a championship while playing for the Phenom Basilan in the 3x3 league Patriot's Cup, in the process earning the Most Valuable Player plum.
The Vallejo, California-born Fil-Am guard said he can't wait to showcase his talent in the highest basketball level in the country. He also looks forward to facing Ginebra's Stanley Pringle, Magnolia's Paul Lee and San Miguel Beer's Terrence Romeo, who he believes are the best in the PBA today.
"I've been doing what I've always done to prepare, and that's stay ready to battle with anyone who steps in front of me," he stressed. "I don't care who is in front of me, on the court I have the same attitude with everyone and that's to dominate and play my game, but most importantly have fun while doing so and enjoy myself."
Pringle, who was recently named the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup Best Player, Lee and Romeo have all caught the eye of Johnson.
"Since me watching the PBA, those three guards are the ones that caught my eye the most when it comes to all around talent at the guard position and I love to go up against who I think is the best," shared Johnson, who also previously played for Marinerong Pilipino, Gamboa Coffee Mix and AMA Online in the PBA D-League.
His agent Marvin Espiritu spoke highly of his ward, noting that Johnson is a solid playmaker, who also packs his game with an ability to score when the need arises.
"Franky's a very good player. I met him for the first time when he was playing for Marinerong Pilipino in the PBA D-League, some three years ago," Espiritu said in Filipino. "He's athletic, quick and after playing here for quite some time, I believe he's PBA ready."
The 6-foot-2 Johnson admitted being blessed to have a family that supports him in his PBA pursuit.
"My biggest inspiration has always been my family," shared Johnson, who saw action for the NCAA Division II school Virginia Union in 2015 and the NAIA Division II school Warner Pacific the year after.
"My grandma and late grandfather and my parents and my younger sister are my motivation and inspiration in everything I do," he said. "They're just support system and the ones that are with me through everything in life and have always been there through the highs the lows and everything in between. They're the ones I always want to make proud and happy and play hard for."
The 6-foot-2 Johnson said since coming over to the country, he has had the chance to visit his Filipino roots in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte, taking the chance to reconnect with his family.
"It's such a beautiful and peaceful place and very humbling to see where my family comes from and my background and culture," he added.