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Top-5 2025 women's basketball recruit ZaKiyah Johnson narrows list to 6 schools

Talia-HS-white-300x300by:Talia Goodman07/03/24


No. 4-ranked 2025 recruit ZaKiyah Johnson narrowed her list down to six finalists, she told On3.

Johnson will only consider South Carolina, LSU, Louisville, Kentucky, USC and Notre Dame for her collegiate landing spot moving forward, she said. 

The 6-foot shooting guard from Shelbyville (Kentucky) Sacred Heart Academy has received offers from the best programs in the country, but she was ready to narrow down her list to strengthen relationships and plan official visits for football season. 

“I’m versatile,” Johnson said of her game. “Whether it’s playing or being a leader, I can lead in different ways – whether it’s vocal or on the court itself. On the court, I can be anywhere I need to be, but being more vocal is something I’ve really worked on… I kind of just let my game talk for me, but now that I have these younger girls, just speaking up and making sure they understand how they should. I really think it’ll help me when I go to the next level.”

ZaKiyah Johnson has already taken unofficial visits to Louisville and Kentucky – both schools that are less than an hour away from her hometown. She’ll schedule official visits for each of the remaining four schools this fall. 

“I’m looking for diversity on a campus, just so I can branch out and meet new people,” Johnson told On3. “I also really pay attention to dorms and dorm living. Then it’s just looking at the team, kind of reading them and seeing how their relationships are. Are they close or is it kind of fake? I look for little things. The majority of [these schools] are in the city area, so that’s really what I like. NIL also plays a big part in it.” 

ZaKiyah Johnson will visit in-state Kentucky this Friday and has also planned an official visit to LSU for September 7. She’s working on scheduling the remaining visits but plans on taking an official visit to Louisville last. 

ZaKiyah Johnson talks about top schools

South Carolina: “I’m definitely a lot closer with those assistant coaches, but they’re consistent with me. I know a few of the girls on the team and they bring out the sisterhood vibe. I want to check it out, see what it is, and see if it’s a fit for me.” 

LSU: “I’m definitely really close with all the staff there. They’re really energetic and I like that. I’m an energetic person too – I’m very social – so I think we click there. The fact that we can have long conversations is good for me.”

Louisville: “That’s my home. My teammate just committed there and I’m around them a lot too. It’s gonna be really tough because I can feel the sisterhood at Louisville too and home always takes care of you. I just really want to see for myself.”

Kentucky: “This one is definitely new. I already had a great relationship with Coach [Kenny] Brooks, but I didn’t really like the Virginia area. Now that he’s here and we’re building that connection, it’s going to be better because it’s closer and it’s something I’m familiar with. Also, Coach Josh [Petersen] from Miami – he was recruiting me at Miami and we talked a lot. He was kind of like one of my best friends. I’m very close with the staff and I think seeing the new program is really going to tell me what I need to know.” 

Notre Dame: “It’s all girl coaches – I like the way they run their program. I’m also really big on fashion and I think they do a really good job with it. Coach [Niele] Ivey is very sweet and Coach [Michaela] Mabrey is very sweet. I can kind of connect with them because they’re younger. It’s really just a vibe you have to be there to feel.”

USC: “I’ve talked to them a few times. The players that they have attracted me and I like their style of play. It’s very similar to how we do it in high school and who wouldn’t want to live down there? It’s definitely going to be different. It’s the furthest one out, so it’s kind of the black sheep because everything is so close and then I go across the map there.”