Guest blogger, JCTMS Girls basketball coach, Michael G. Moore Jr. writes his June entry series of “Spotlight Series” of younger hoopers to be on lookout for in years to come.
Players Name: ZaKiyah Johnson
Position: SG, W, F
Grade: Rising Freshman (9th)
School: Sacred Heart Academy
AAU Team: Kentucky Premier EYBL 17U
Favorite WNBA Team: LA Sparks
Favorite WNBA Player: Asia Durr
Favorite Women’s College Team: Louisville
Last season, she played for Shelby County High School on their varsity team as a 8th grader. She had an incredible season with 21.8 points per game and 12.8 rebounds per game in only her second year of High School Varsity basketball.
As the start of Summer June ball began, there was an incredible buzz statewide when everyone found out that she would be attending Sacred Heart Academy. Her addition to the defending State Champs, who are returning a strong core, Sacred Heart Academy will go into the season as Pre-Season #1 in the State and the chance to repeat is even more likely. Through the month of school games she has been as good as advertised, displaying all she will bring to Sacred Heart Academy next season. She will continue to grow her name and game over her four years in high school.
It’s very impressive to see a rising Freshman not only playing up 3 grade levels in AAU but on the EYBL circuit. She has been playing well and a stand out for Kentucky Premier this Spring/Summer. She has already received offers from NKU, Minnesota, UofL and UK. In July, college coaches can now watch the Exposure events that are being played in person. So expect more offers to come her way as they all witness her skills up close and in person.
Position-less basketball has become a huge part in the game and she is an example of that. When you watch her play, her length, size and athletic ability jump out immediately. She plays hard and with great effort and leaves it all out on the floor. Such a versatile player you can put at multiple positions on offense and is great as an on-ball and help side defender.
Defensively you may see her at mid-court sitting down with hands out and sliding her feet pressuring a point guard, or on the wing guarding the perimeter or even on the inside defending a post player. Offensive wise while guarding her, if you sag into the lane she can shoot the jumper, if you put a smaller player on her, she will post up, if you put a bigger player on her, she can slash and attack the rim. Opposing coaches will have their hands full in how to deal with her this upcoming season as she will be a huge mismatch on scouting reports.
Per the updated Kentucky Girls Top Players in Prep Hoops by Rick Bolus for the 2021-2022 Pre-Season, she is ranked #1 in the State. This is a ranking list of Kentucky Players Regardless of Class & Based on college potential.
She has national recognition as a BlueStar 30 player, which is a selective group of top young elite players from around the nation. When ESPN Hoopgurlz releases their first Watchlist or ranking list of the Class of 2025 later this year, expect to see her name near the top.
Once we get to the actual season this winter, she is a player to go watch and worth the admission as a basketball fan.
Check her out in July……
Kentucky Premier Schedule:
Run For The Roses (July 5-8)
@ Kentucky Exposition Center
Nike TOC (July 10-12)
@ McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago, IL
Nike Nationals (July 21-25)
North Augusta, SC
Sacred Heart Academy Schedule:
Best of Maryland (July 24-26)
@ Hood College