Mississauga, ON’s Cody John is taking his talents to Weber State.  One of the most unsung prospects in the 2015 Canadian class, John is coming off of a breakout senior season with Wasatch Academy, Utah. 6’3” John started nearly every game in his four-year career for Wasatch Academy, averaging 20 points per game over that span. He was twice named 2A MVP in Utah and has collected a bevy of all-tournament honors.

Cody-John.faceThis year, John led the Tigers as they tackled an aggressive national schedule, averaging 19.2 points per game. He earned all-tournament honors in such high-profile events as the Montverde Academy Invitational, Bill Crothers Invitational, and Great Western Shootout. John in contests throughout 2014-15 had strong showings versus prominent programs like La Lumiere, St. Benedict’s, Findlay Prep and national champions Montverde. John will now play for Weber State head coach Randy Rahe and attempt to hold his own again, except this time in the Big Sky conference.

One of the more famous products of Rahe’s coaching career is current NBA star Damian Lillard. Lillard was recruited by Rahe and not only ended his junior season as the Big Sky MVP, but Lillard was also the first Wildcat to be named to an all-american team. Lillard, after three seasons at Weber State, opted to enter the NBA draft and was drafted sixth overall.

Speaking with Cody John from Utah, he shares his thought process behind pledging allegiance to Weber State, similarities he shares with Damian Lillard, future prospects and ambition including a desire to play for Team Canada at the U19 World Championships  this summer in Greece.

HHC: Dream come true I bet, what separated Weber State from other programs that recruited you?

CJ: Weber State honestly was the best fit for me. They wanted me to come in at the one and make an impact right away. Instead of coming in off the bench they wanted me to come in as a freshman, start right away and make an impact. When I went on a visit the people were very welcoming and I felt like I was part of a family already.

WEBERHHC: Damian Lillard former Big Sky MVP and arrived at Weber State kind of unheralded like yourself. Was he an example that served as any inspiration?

CJ: It is. We were in the same type of situation. College coaches were overlooking at us for not being big enough, not athletic enough or we don’t shoot the ball well enough.  It just made me play with a chip on my shoulder and it make me want to go harder and harder every time I step on the court. I saw Lillard in that same situation and he’s a player I try to model my game after and stuff.

HHC: Starting as a freshman off the bat is that something your aiming to do?

CJ: The coaching staff says I have to work for it but it’s there. I just have to do my part and produce. I hope to start at the one.

HHC: How about Wasatch Academy and that experience from when you got there to last season’s success playing on a national schedule?

CJ: Wasatch was probably the best decision I made. Coach Morgan came to see me play in Canada and I just really needed to get out, away from Toronto and go somewhere I could just focus on basketball and books. So that is what I did and it was a great experience. Coach taught me alot both on the court and off the court, he is like a father figure to me. Wasatch is just a great place to go and now the program has gotten a lot bigger and should be a great program the next couple of years.

HHC: Any areas Geno Morgan pushed you to strive in during your tenure under his tutelage? Something that you are thankful for?

CODYJJJCJ: He pushed me to keep my motor high. Sometimes I’d be in cruise control and it wasn’t good because my motor always has to be going and changing paces. Also not playing down to the opponents level. Those things and a killer instinct every game no matter who were playing and even in practice.

HHC: Weber State is three hours away from Wasatch, so you’ll continue living in Utah the next few years. How is it living in Utah?

CJ: Utah is not a bad place. People think it is but when you get out here in Mount Pleasent you see how nice Wasatch really is with all these great people.

HHC: Your from Mississauga, ON.  Same city as players like Andrew Nicholson, Nik Stauskas, Naz Long,  Dillon Brooks, etc. What is the identity of a Mississauga baller?

CJ: We are a wolfpack, just a family who all grew up together. None of us had anything handed to us and had to work for it. We all had to make sacrifices but we did as a family. We make our decisions as a family and talk about life on and of f the court. We work out with each other and were just a family that eat together and everything.

HHC: You were very underrated back home. Was that all fuel  and motivation for you on your road to obtaining a scholarship?

 CJ: Exactly. I know I’m underrated. Things like not making that BioSteel All-Canadian game are motivation.It just puts another chip on my shoulder to go out even harder. After college I’m still trying to play at the next level and not trying to settle. So I can’t let that stop me from going hard. I have to use that as motivation to go harder.

HHC: Last but not least do you have any desire to play for Canada one day?

CJ: Yes. Like how I plan to impact Weber St I would love to do the same for Canada. I’m hoping to get an invite to the U19 team this summer and possibly be a leader on that team and do what I do best.