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Pitt women’s basketball lands Maliyah Johnson

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pitt women’s basketball team picked up a commitment from a 6’0” small forward out of Columbus, Ohio, on Monday night, as Maliyah Johnson of Africentric Early College announced her intent to continue her athletic and academic career in Pittsburgh.

”First, I just want to take this moment to thank God for blessing me with the talents and opportunities I have to play the sport I love,” Johnson said in a message posted on Twitter. “I would like to thank my family and coaches for being behind me through everything and pushing me and supporting me along the way. Lastly, I would like to thank all the coaches for seeing something in me and taking the time to recruit me. With that being said, I would like to announce that I will be verbally committing to the University of Pittsburgh.”

Johnson is part of an Africentric team that went a perfect 28-0 in the 2018-19 season en route to an Ohio state title. The year before that, the team went 27-3, winning a Columbus City League title and another Ohio state championship. Africentric is also the program that gave rise to Jordan Horston, the No. 2 overall player in the country in the 2019 class, according to espnW.

As for Johnson, she is not ranked among espnW’s top 100 recruits, but she has been a reliable contributor to a dominant team in one of the most competitive states for high school girls basketball. During last season’s championship run, Johnson averaged eight points per game. She has also shown up in big games for Africentric, as she had seven points and 13 rebounds in the 2019 state title game.

Johnson is the latest promising recruit brought in by Pitt coach Lance White, and she is the first member of his 2021 class. Pitt is also in the top nine of Shyanne Sellers, a top-50 recruit in the 2021 class who also hails from Ohio.