South Carolina Basketball: Gamecocks make top list for 5-star wing

South Carolina basketball target Zakiyah Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Courier-Journal
South Carolina basketball target Zakiyah Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Syndication: The Courier-Journal /

South Carolina basketball coach Dawn Staley is probably the best recruiter in the country. The women’s basketball legend has developed the Gamecocks into one of the premier programs in the sport of college basketball, and she has done so, in large part, thanks to her ability to find top-end talent and convince those players to come to Columbia.

The 2024 recruiting class is shaping up to be a special one for South Carolina basketball as Madisen McDaniel and Adhel Tac are already in the boat, and elite players like Joyce Edwards and Kennedy Smith are considered as “leans” to join Staley and the Gamecocks (particularly Edwards).

In the 2025 class, Staley and her South Carolina basketball staff are already making inroads in the recruitments of some big-time players.

One of these players, Shelbyville, Kentucky native Zakiyah Johnson, announced on Sunday that the Gamecocks were one of her favorite teams.

Johnson released a top-12 list that included South Carolina, UConn, Southern Cal, Louisville, Ohio State, Arizona, Tennessee, UCLA, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, LSU, and Georgia.

While it is far too early in Johnson’s recruitment to know what type of chance the Gamecocks have at landing her, Gamecock fans can be excited to be in the mix for yet another 5-star talent.

As a player, the 6’0″ Johnson is an aggressive wing player who can play the shooting guard or small forward spot at the next level. She has good handles that she uses to get herself open for jumpers and to find open lines for driving to the basket.

She also is the type of player who gets and rebound and immediately starts pushing the ball up the floor, a trait that will earn her team a lot of fast break buckets. She is a plus-athlete who can impact the game in a variety of ways.

You can watch some of her film here.

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