Neumann-Gorretti star Diamond Johnson has committed to attend Rutgers University.

Neumann-Gorretti star Diamond Johnson has committed to attend Rutgers University.

Neumann-Goretti basketball star Diamond Johnson has committed to Rutgers University. Johnson, a 5-foot-5 senior, is one of the top high school girls basketball players in the country. She’s looking forward to playing for the Scarlet Knights basketball program.

“The love, the care that I received from the girls that are currently there and the former players,” Johnson said. “They come back and talk. It was a good atmosphere and environment. It was very hard especially with the school I had. They were really tough schools, but Rutgers stood out to me.”

Neumann-Goretti head coach Andre Peterson was very pleased with Johnson’s decision to go to Rutgers. In addition to the Scarlet Knights, she was recruited by South Carolina, North Carolina State, Boston College and Virginia.

“I think it’s a good decision,” Peterson said. “I think all the schools did a great job of recruiting her. One thing I’ll say about Diamond’s process. She did her homework. She studied game film. She sat down with every school and where she would fit best and what was best for her. Rutgers is a really good choice.”

Johnson will be playing her college basketball for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer. She was a big factor in her decision.

“That was a very important part, too,” Johnson said. “I’m definitely going to learn a lot not even just on basketball, but on life and how to grow as a person and everything.”

Stringer has taken three different schools — Cheyney University (1982), Iowa (1993) and Rutgers (2000 and 2007) — to the NCAA Final Four during her career. Johnson was very impressed with her accomplishments. Those accolades figured into her decision.

“It did,” Johnson said. That’s very hard not too many coaches especially to the Final Four. That’s major.”

Johnson is a special player. The Saints’ point guard averaged 28.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 4.0 steals a game. Johnson was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She was named the Catholic League Most Valuable Player.

She scored 54 points in the city title game. She guided Neumann-Goretti to a 19-8 record and a spot in the Class 3A state tournament.

Rutgers competes in the Big 10 Conference. Johnson won’t be too far away from home, which happens to be good for a lot of people who have followed her career.

“The support is going to be there especially from [New] Jersey, Philly and New York because they all basically connect,” Johnson said. “They’re close and family can come as well.”

dhunt@phillytrib.com (215) 893-5719

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