CHICAGO – Stanley Johnson isn’t a coffee drinker, although if he was ever going to start, now would be a pretty good time. The irony of meeting to sit down and chat in a Starbucks attached to the Palmer House Hotel in the Loop isn’t lost on him. It’s the tail end of the 2015 NBA Combine, and the one-year Arizona Wildcat just got finished with five straight hours at the hospital on Sunday of being measured, fitted, poked and prodded for team physicals.
Rather than opt for caffeine, the soon-to-be 19-year-old is popping what’s left of a bag of Skittles in his mouth one at a time, taking intermittent breaks to fiddle with the drawstrings on the hood of a Nike sweatshirt he has pulled tight over his head.
Johnson keeps coming back to something Arizona coach Sean Miller told him and the other Wildcats – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Brandon Ashley and T.J. McConnell – in attendance for the Combine.
“Honor the process,” Johnson said. “Every day you go do something, you honor that day. It seems so simple, but it’s so true at the same time.”
Ashley felt the same way on Thursday at the Quest Multisport complex when asked about Miller’s words of wisdom.
“It’s the main message he’s given to us,” Ashley said. “Honestly it’ll probably stick with us all until the end. You have to go day by day. You can’t ever look forward or look ahead. You have go to focus on right here, right now.”