Neumann-Goretti’s Diamond Johnson keeps piling up awards

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Neumann-Goretti’s Diamond Johnson drives around a defender in the PIAA State Tournament on Friday. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

The balloons weren’t going to fit in the car and her trophy case is getting awfully crowded, as the awards and accolades keep piling up for Diamond Johnson.

The Neumann-Goretti senior is certainly leaving her mark before joining the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers University next year.

“I don’t want it to be over,” Johnson said after the Saints defeated St. Basil Academy, 64-61, in the opening round of the PIAA Class 3A playoffs last week. “It’s my last year and I don’t want it to end.”

She’ll have plenty to remember it from. Johnson is averaging just shy of 30 points per game and recently earned Pennsylvania’s Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the second straight year. More impressively, she was invited to play in the otherwise all-male 24K Showcase at the 2020 Allen Iverson Roundball Classic, which will be held on April 22 at 5 p.m. at the 76ers Fieldhouse Arena in Wilmington, Delaware. Johnson was the first girl to ever be selected to play in the showcase.

“I’ve been the underdog for years,” Johnson said. “I’m still the underdog. I’m just trying to prove people wrong.”

Johnson received praise from her future Rutgers coach after the announcement was made.

“I’ve said it before, Diamond is one of the best players in the nation, period,” Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer said on the Rutgers women’s basketball website. “This again proves that she is a once-in-a-generation talent with elite shooting and playmaking skills. Even more important is this shows Diamond’s barrier-breaking mindset. Nothing can hold her back from reaching her potential and bringing women’s basketball to a new level. This will open the door for other great women to advance our game even further.”