Kennitra Johnson is a point guard prospect that has the perimeter
skills to play at the one or two positions. Her versatility, leadership and
court awareness is making her a heavily recruited player. Possessing a solid
all around game, it isn't uncommon for her to score 20 points on her own,
and in the same game dish off an additional 20 points to her teammates. Her
athleticism adds to her ability to create her own offense off the dribble.
In high school, some of the schools recruiting Johnson other than Purdue
included Connecticut, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Notre Dame. Penn State also
tried to get involved.
As a high school sophomore, Johnson averaged 17.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.1
assists and 5.0 steals for 21-3 New Albany. She was named to the sectional,
regional and semi-state all-tournament teams.
As a high school freshman, Johnson averaged 16.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists,
and 5.0 steals for 20-3 New Albany. She was named to the sectional, regional,
and semi-state all-tournament teams as a freshman starter.
7-27-01...Three years ago, Kennitra Johnson was fairly certain she would be a Boiler.
Then Carolyn Peck left Purdue for a position in the WNBA, sending Johnson to
Connecticut instead. After two years at Connecticut, Johnson is transferring and Purdue
seems to have the advantage in landing the all-american guard. Johnson will have to
sit out a year at a new school, then will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Keep an eye out for an official announcement from the UCONN SID, which will indicate
when Johnson is released from her scholarship and when Purdue can make contact with her.
7-26-01...Reactivating the Kennitra Johnson profile.
9-21-98...The Purdue women have lost their first recruit due to
the Peck move to the WNBA next year. Kennitra Johnson, who had Purdue way
out in front of other schools until Peck announced she was leaving, has
veballed to UCONN. Johnson is friends with UCONN's Tamika Williams, who
also was a target of Purdue last year.
9-18-98...Purdue visited the home of Kennitra Johnson on Friday.
7-16-98...Kennitra may be looking seriously at a new school, UCONN.
UCONN staff reportedly notified her that they were interested in watching
her at the Nike Camp. In a recent Journal and Courier interview, Johnson
said the choice of a new head coach at Purdue would determine if she
continues to look at the Boilers. If the Athletic Department does wait
as planned until next spring to hire a new coach, it may be too long of
a wait for Johnson and many other prospects in the rising senior class.
6-21-98...A scouting report on Kennitra from the Junior All-Star
game against the Senior All-Stars last Wednesday..."Kennitra Johnson. Best
player on the floor. Can defend, shoot, pass, create. Didn't play much.
Rumor has it she's not particularly coachable. Absolutely DESTROYED April
Traylor of Martinsville." (scouting report by RMKFAN)
6-18-98...Nine points wasn't enough to overcome the Senior All-Star
team on Wednesday. The Junior All-Stars fell to the Seniors 92-71 in Mount
Vernon. Kennitra and company will again play the Seniors next Wednesday
in Noblesville. For more info on the game, follow this link to the Events
page. (stats below)
6-17-98...Kennitra has narrowed her list to three...Purdue, Tennessee and
6-16-98...Here's a scouting report from Brian Sullivan on Johnson's
recent performances against equally tough competition in the 1998 17-under
AAU state championship games..."Let me preface this by saying I am from
New Albany, graduated from New Albany, and remain an avid New Albany
sports fan...For some time the race for Miss Basketball next season has been
shaping up as a battle between Kennitra Johnson and April McDivitt. As
recently as February I waffled and gave the slight edge to McDivitt. In the
past, I argued for Johnson because of slightly better accomplishments
team-wise and statistically during the winter. Connersville fans countered
with April's AAU honors. Now I don't put too much stock in summer ball, and
don't feel that it should have any bearing on Miss Basketball. All it's
good for is recruiting and All-American stuff. But using the argument of
McDivitt's supporters, I offer this. On Friday night, Indiana's Finest
Black took on the Southern Indiana Shooters in the 17 and Under state
semifinals over at Plainfield Middle School. McDivitt guarded Johnson
virtually the entire game. The Shooters spent a lot of time in a zone, but
when they went man-to-man Kennitra spent her fair share of time shading
McDivitt. The results? Johnson had 33 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3
steals. McDivitt had 15 points, 1 rebound, 8 assists, and 3 steals. Johnson
also had two fewer turnovers. More important, the Shooters won by a basket.
This was especially immpressive since Indiana's Finest had six girls on
their roster rated among the top 50 in the state by Hoosier Basketball
Magazine, versus just one for the Shooters.
Call me a biased fan if you want. But head-to-head, one-on-one, Johnson
outscored McDivitt 24-0. McDivitt only managed to squeeze off a single shot
with Johnson on her. Johnson, meanwhile, hit four threes on McDivitt and
used the dribble move to blow past her for five layups and a pull up
jumper. It was no contest on this night.
For good measure, Johnson and Kelly Komara squared off in the state finals
the next morning. This time, Johnson had a triple double (22 points,
10 rebounds, 10 assists) along with 4 steals. Komara could only manage
9 points, 2 rebounds, 0 assists, and 2 steals. Most telling was the
sequence in the first half where Johnson picked off a Komara pass, then
drove past her for a layup on the other end. Moments later she stripped
Komara of the ball as she drove the lane. The next time down, Johnson
took a charge on Komara. She became so frustrated that she levelled a
girl on a pick on the other end and was taken out of the game. To her
credit, she did get the steal that saved the game as Mohr Magic won 74-70.
Keep in mind, however, that their roster had TEN top 100 selections on the
roster to THREE for the Shooters. In both instances, Johnson kept her team
in games against older (grade-wise), more touted, and more talented
players. And she completely dominated Miss Basketball present and the her
top competition for the award next year." (game summary by Brian
2-21-98...#7 New Albany was defeated in the sectional finals by #6
2-17-98...New Albany finished the 97-98 regular season ranked #7
in the final poll by the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association.
2-11-98...New Albany head coach Angie Hinton and her staff are trying
to isolate Kennitra from the recruiting pressure as much as they can, letting
her concentrate on her first SAT attempt coming up this spring. Her grades
are very good. "Right now we are just taking a lot of unofficial visits,
trying to get a feel for what it's like to play on that level," said Hinton.
"She wants to be a decent distance from home. Far enough to feel like she's
away from home, yet close enough to be able to go home." Johnson has not
eliminated any schools at this time. Both Purdue and Vanderbilt have offered
1-06-98...A game summary from the matchup of #4 Jeffersonville and
#9 New Albany..."I've got to say that the Jeffersonville win at New Albany was
the best girls game I've seen since the Washington vs. Carmel Final Four game
back in 1995. The fourth quarter was absolutely draining for the teams and fans
and there were five of the most spectacular individual performances put on that
you could hope to see. New Albany didn't put on their most aggressive fullcourt
pressure during the first half, and Jeff was able to slip past it with no
problem. Once in the halfcourt, Jeff's guards took advantage of the double and
sometimes triple teaming that New Albany used on Mary Jo Noon. With the guards
hitting like crazy, Jeff took a twelve point lead at halftime. New Albany
really turned the screws on the Devils in the second half, though, rallying
from what became a 14 point deficit to actually go ahead by one with two
minutes left. Jeff was able to slip back ahead by four before Kennitra Johnson
cut it to two with a layup. On the ensuing possession, N.A. forced another
turnover and held for the last shot. Johnson had a decent look from about
eight feet to send it to overtime, but it JUST rimmed away and Noon rebounded
for the win. Noon, despite the defense being packed in on her, finished with
16 points and 16 rebounds. Shelley Broughton had 18 and Sara Nord (who is
likely the top sophomore guard in the state) had 19 points and 8 assists.
Those two combined for 14-18 shooting from the field, including 7-9 from long
range. For New Albany, Johnson had 34 points (breaking the career scoring
record along the way), 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals, while sophomore
Abby Scharlow scored 25 on 6-6 three pointers. Unfortunately for New Albany,
they were hampered by an injury bug that wiped out their entire frontline.
Center Jessy Dablow was in a shoulder harness for a muscle tear (I believe) as
well as in a soft cast for a hand injury. Forward Lacy Farris played only
about six minutes after not being expected to even dress because of a deep
thigh bruise. And on one of the first possessions of the second half, second
leading scorer and leading rebounder Kristin Traub was sent to the floor and
injured her tailbone, which kept her on the bench the remainder of the game.
All and all, the injuries meant several of New Albany's less experienced
players had to see significant minutes, which hurt them in that game but could
wind up being of definite benefit down the line. It was the fifth time in the
last six games of this series that the game came down to the final shot in
regulation. It also sets the stage for an incredible rematch in the
sectionals." (game summary by Brian Sullivan)
In attendance were a handful of Purdue representatives. Kelly Komara
and parents drove down for the game, as did members of the Purdue coaching
staff. Kelly Komara's mother turns out to be best friends with New Albany's
Abbey Scharlow's (25 points, 6-6 threes) mother. The Purdue staff was both
scouting Johnson and supporting Noon.
RMKFAN from the Junior All-Star game against the Senior All-Stars..."Kennitra
Johnson. Best player on the floor. Can defend, shoot, pass, create. Didn't play much.
Rumor has it she's not particularly coachable. Absolutely DESTROYED April Traylor
of Martinsville." 6/21/98
Date Day Time Opponent
---- --- ---- --------------------
11/20/97 THR W Silver Creek
11/22/97 SAT W @ Corydon Central
12/02/97 TUE W @ Providence
12/04/97 THR W Bedford North Lawrence
12/06/97 SAT W Indianapolis Chatard
12/11/97 THR W Scottsburg
12/13/97 SAT W @ Jennings County
12/18/97 THR W Charlestown
12/20/97 SAT W Evansville Harrison
12/27/97 SAT W @ Crown Point Tourney
01/04/98 SUN W @ Floyd Central
01/06/98 TUE L Jeffersonville
01/08/98 THR W @ Clarksville
01/10/98 SAT W @ Evansville Reitz
01/15/98 THR L Columbus East
01/17/98 SAT W @ Austin
01/29/98 THR W Seymour
02/06/98 FRI W @ Madison
02/07/98 SAT W North Harrison
02/09/98 MON W Austin
02/17/98 TUE W Sectional vs Floyd Central
02/20/98 FRI 7:30P W Sectional vs Jennings County
02/21/98 SAT L Sectional Final vs Jeffersonville
* Times not available *
* To confirm game time call New Albany HS *
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