Ex-Dougherty star Johnson joins Rockets

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

Alexander Johnson is back in the NBA.

The former Dougherty and Florida State star said he signed a contract with the Houston Rockets on Tuesday that will last the rest of the regular season.

Johnson leaves for Houston on Thursday and, pending a physical, can play for the Rockets in their Friday home game against Charlotte.

"I'm great, man," Johnson said Tuesday.

"I ain't felt this good in three years. I'm back to where I want to be," Johnson said.

Johnson, who led Dougherty to the 2001 GHSA Class AAAA title, starred at Florida State and then was drafted by Indiana (45th overall pick) in 2006 and played parts of two seasons with Memphis and Miami.

Injuries hampered the 6-foot-9, Johnson's performance and he spent time playing basketball in Europe. Training in the offseason at Tony's Gym, Johnson made it clear earlier he did not want to play in Europe again.

Therefore, the D-League was an option. While playing for Sioux Falls, he was named the league's Player of the Month after averaging 24.5 points and 10.9 rebounds while shooting 60 percent from the floor.

Happy his injuries are healed, Johnson said, when healthy, "I know I can make an impact there. (Houston) has given me guaranteed money and feel I'm the best big man in the D-League. My foot is in the door, now, and I want to work during the offseason and stay on the team."