Next Up 9

Guest blogger, Michael G. Moore Jr. gives the last entry of his “Next Up” series as we highlighted top younger players entering the 2020-2021 School Basketball Season. 

Players Name- ZaKiyah Johnson

Grade going to in Fall- 8th

School attending in Fall- Shelby East Middle

Also plays HS Varsity at Shelby County HS 

AAU Program- Kentucky Premier 

As we wrap up the “Next Up Series”, today we highlight a player from Shelby County, who many in Louisville over the years have heard about and seen play.  Coming up through elementary school,  she played AAU in Louisville. During her last two years of middle school she began making a name for herself statewide.  She has been named the Kentucky MVP of “Battle of the Bridges All Star Game” multiple times (for her class) the past few years.  The 23rd Annual Battle of Bridges All Star Classic features All Stars from Kentucky vs Indiana and this year will be on Saturday, August 1st at MidAmerica in Louisville.

Now standing as a 5’10 Wing/Forward going into the 8th grade, just imagine if she grows more over the next few years.

Last Summer as a rising 7th grader she played on Kentucky Premier’s top rising 9th grade team.  She had an incredible and productive summer playing up on an older team. Fans who watched her games were shocked to hear she was 2 grades younger because of how well she played at that level. She has the ability to dominate on post ups and run the floor well.  For her size, she is impressive in the way she can pass and see the floor and her ballhandling has improved tremendously. She is a “stat stuffer” when you include what she brings by her scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks. She is a true game changer and should be one of the top contenders for the Class of 2025 Kentucky Miss Basketball award.

1) Who got you started playing b-ball?

My Mom

2) Favorite WNBA player?

Asia Durr

3) Favorite current College WBB player?

Zia Cooke of South Carolina

4) Favorite candy?


5) Favorite restaurant?

Red Lobster

6) Favorite animated character?

Angelica Pickles

7) Favorite sports movie?

Love and Basketball

8) Routine before each game?

Stretch and listen to music

9) Most memorable b-ball moment so far?

Being a starter for my High School Varsity team as a 7th grader and being able to contribute to the first crosstown rivalry win against Collins High School in 5 years.

10) If you could only achieve one, which would it be and why?  HS state title, College WBB National Title or WNBA Title

Winning all three would be a huge accomplishment for sure but if I had to choose one it would be winning a High School State Title at the Sweet 16 State Tournament because I’m doing it with my closet friends and that would be a memorable moment to me.