Among the names in the 2020 women’s basketball recruiting class was one slightly lesser known: Diamond Johnson-a tough 5-5 guard from Philadelphia who was named Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Basketball Player of the Year, not once but twice. To the casual basketball fan, she isn’t quite the household name…yet.
After attending Rutgers her freshman year, where she was a 50-40-90 player and earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors and made the Big Ten All-Freshman Team, Johnson transferred to NC State, where she earned ACC Sixth Player of the Year as a sophomore and All-ACC Second Team honors last year as a junior.
At the end of last season, she entered the transfer portal again, this time for a new challenge.
She chose to lace them up for Norfolk State University, the reigning MEAC regular season and tournament champions, and as excited as she is to experience the HBCU culture firsthand, she made it clear this was a basketball decision.
“They have a lot of good coaches on that level, and they develop players. That was important for me this time around,” Johnson tells me. Johnson hopes her decision will lead more girls to weigh HBCUs as legitimate options to further their careers and achieve their goals. Her sights are set on the WNBA, and many mock drafts have her projected as a potential first-round pick. Anyone who’s smart wouldn’t bet against her.
Photos via Getty Images.