Flau’Jae Johnson, a 6-foot senior guard at Sprayberry, has been selected to play in the prestigious McDonald’s All-American Games.
Georgia also will be represented by coaches Hilda Hankerson and Michael Thomas at the games, which will be played at Wintrust Arena in Chicago. Hankerson is the girls coach at four-time defending state champion Westlake, and Thomas is the boys coach at Thomson, which is ranked No. 8 in Class 3A and was a state quarterfinalist last season.
No boys players from Georgia were named to this year’s teams.
The games, to be played March 29, will begin at 6:30 p.m. (girls on ESPN2) and 9 p.m. (boys on ESPN).
Johnson was a Class 6A first-team all-state selection last season. She is rated by ESPN as a four-star prospect and the No. 26 senior nationally (No. 6 guard). Johnson has signed with LSU.
“I think hands down she’s the best player in the state,” said River Ridge coach Jason Taylor, whose team in ranked No. 1 in Class 6A. “She is good. I am a big fan of her game. With what coach [Kelly] Avery has done with her over there … she can play.”
Johnson was one of 10 players from Georgia nominated for the game. The others were Kehinde Obasuyi of Carrollton, Lazaria Spearman of Dacula, Letiya Reeves of East Coweta, Jessie Parish of Hebron Christian, Paris Miller of Johns Creek, Evangelia Daviakou of Luella, Chloe Sterling of Marietta, Kara Dunn of Mount Paran Christian and Sydney Bowles of Woodward Academy.
Among the other players in the girls game is Janiah Barker, a 6-foot-2 forward from Montverde Academy in Florida who has signed with Georgia. Barker is a five-star prosect ranked as the No. 3 player nationally among seniors. There will be two signees each from Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, South Carolina, Stanford, UCLA and Connecticut playing in the girls game.
Johnson’s Sprayberry team is 12-5 overall and ranked No. 10 in Class 6A. The Yellow Jackets are 10-0 in Region 6-6A, a half-game ahead of fourth-ranked Kell. They are coming off a 66-26 victory over Allatoona on Tuesday and will finish out the week with games at Wheeler (Friday) and Keenan, S.C. (Saturday). Keenan is 16-2 and the No. 3-ranked team in South Carolina, according to MaxPreps.
Here are some of the other top games involving Class 6A teams this weekend:
*Houston County at Valdosta (Friday): Houston County is quietly having an outstanding season. The Bears are 15-2 overall, 4-0 in Region 1 and sitting at No. 12 in the MaxPreps Class 6A rankings. Houston County is one game ahead of second-place Valdosta (14-7, 3-1), which can pull into a tie for first place with a victory. Houston County won 64-45 when the teams met on Jan. 8.
*Forest Park at Hughes (Saturday): Hughes (15-5, 6-2) moved into second place in Region 4 with a 59-46 victory Tuesday against Westlake. This weekend, the Lions will step outside of region play for a big test when they host Forest Park, the No. 3 team in Class 5A. Forest Park (12-4) is coming off its second loss in six days to region rival Woodward Academy, the top-ranked team in 5A.
*Buford at Habersham Central (Friday): Fourth-ranked Buford (16-4, 7-1) can lock down one of the top two seeds for the Region 8 tournament with a victory against third-place Habersham Central (12-7, 5-3). It likely won’t be easy, though, as the Wolves won just 72-70 when the teams met at Buford three weeks ago. Both are chasing top-ranked Shiloh, the only remaining unbeaten team in 6A.
*Hughes at Tucker (Friday): Seventh-ranked Tucker (14-4, 6-2) is in second place in Region 4, but to keep that spot the Tigers will need a victory against third-place Hughes (10-10, 5-3), which trails them by just one game. Tucker won a nailbiter in their first meeting, a 55-54 victory on Jan. 4. Tucker lost to first-place and third-ranked Westlake last week but has since beaten Morrow and North Atlanta.
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