East Texas pro athlete experiences Japan quake - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texas pro athlete experiences Japan quake

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

An East Texas man is back home from Japan tonight, less than a week after the 9.0 quake hit.

Justin Johnson, 24, of Tyler, has been living in Tokyo for the last month playing professional basketball as a member of the Tokyo Apache. Tokyo is more than two hours away from most of the devastation, but Johnson says he felt the initial quake for almost ten minutes.

He says he's back home because of the nuclear danger, and his mother says she's glad the team made the decision to send him back to the states.

"As I was Skyping him, I think it was the second day they were still having tremors, and I was watching him shake, and he would say, 'See, I'm shaking now,'" said Justin's mother, Cynthia Melontree Johnson.

"It was excitement for me, that he was coming home, and knowing that he was able to get a flight and come, I was excited."

"The thing we were worried about was the radiation, from the plant," Justin Johnson said. "That's the main thing we were focused on, and that's why I'm here right now. That was nothing to play with."

Justin says the rest of his team's season has been suspended for now. He's not sure how long he'll be home, but says he will head back when the team managers give him the all clear.

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