Classroom Champions: Chilton's Karlton Johnson

CHILTON, Texas (KWTX) With his phenomenal attitude, penchant for volunteering at food pantries, and grades that have him ranked second in his class, it's no surprise that Karlton Johnson, otherwise known as KJ, is thought of so highly at Chilton High School.

"When it comes to people, say positive things and keep a positive mindset," Johnson said. "Have a mindset that you can do it all, because if you have that mindset, you'll be able to do it."

Johnson is no slouch when it comes to sports, either. Football, cross country, track and tennis are all in his wheelhouse. But for him, basketball rises above them all.

"From the first time I stepped on the court, and my first bucket being scored when I was five, I've always loved the sport because of its intensity and just the atmosphere when you get out there," Johnson said.

After graduation, KJ plans to attend Lamar University. In addition to his studies, he'll serve as manager of the basketball team under head coach and long time family friend Tic Price.

If the call to suit up ever came, the all-district point guard would be ready to answer.

"I give him indirect hints all the time," Johnson said. "He just laughs, and he's like, 'We'll look into it. We'll see."

After college, KJ wants to coach the sport he loves, which is no surprise to those around him.

"He would be a good motivator," Chilton basketball head coach James Shaw said. "I think he would be a great role model, and I think he would be a guy who would bring a lot of smarts to the game."

"I'm not surprised about the coaching," Chilton High School spanish teacher Jean Pamplin said. "I think that would be perfect."