JBA League

Marquis Johnson AKA the “Catalyst” Explains the Name and JBA League Tryouts


There’s a lot in a name. For many of us, we are donned nicknames by family or neighborhood friends at an early age. For new JBA League member, Marquis Johnson aka “The Catalyst”, the nickname is strictly synonymous with his play on the basketball court.

Standing at 6-foot-4, and 185 pounds, Marquis took his talents to Philadelphia this past weekend to try out for the Philly Ballers of the JBA League. For his efforts, he was awarded a spot within the league and he couldn’t be happier to live out his dream as a professional basketball player. Marquis spoke more about his experience — and his nickname — with Fresh Sports Talk.

RELATED: Josiah Pope Not Buying NCAA Sees Promise in LaVar Ball’s JBA League

Why did you decide to tryout for the JBA League?

Marquis “The Catalyst” Johnson:  The reason I decided to try out for the JBA League is because I believe this route gives me a lot of exposure, and I didn’t have offers from colleges I wanted to go to.

How competitive was it out there at the tryouts?

The competition was average. There were some kids that can hoop, and some kids that couldn’t — but I love to compete.

Why do you think players are starting to seriously consider this as an alternative?

I think players are considering playing for this league because maybe they aren’t trying to go to college for four years to make it pro and not get paid. Or, they actually look up to the Ball family and support what they’re doing.

How do you feel about LaVar and what he’s doing with creating this league?

I think LaVar is a brilliant guy and he’s showing his way of giving back and [he] wants to give players opportunities to show their talent.


JBA players will be expected to wear Big Baller Brand gear, how do you feel about that?

I think wearing the BBB gear is actually [hot]  and I don’t mind at all. I’ll love to represent.

Explain your nickname, “The Catalyst”.

Well basically, I’m like the spark plug on the team. [I’m] the type of player that can change the game at any time. For instance, if the game is at a slow pace — not a lot of scoring going on — and I get subbed in the game, I could change the demeanor of the game with my style of play.

Do you think more top recruits will consider the JBA once they see how successful it will be?

Yes, possibly more top recruits will come and watch the JBA as the years go by, but some recruiters support the NCAA also, so that’s debatable.

How does it feel to be a pro?

The feeling of being a pro is great. Having many supporters and people that believed in me since I started playing basketball, and to really live the dream you’ve been wishing for is a big accomplishment. Now [that] I’m considered a pro, I have to act like a pro!

Brandon Williams is the Editor in Chief for Fresh Sports TalkYou can follow him on Twitter @TalkinWithFresh, or “Like” him on Facebook.

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