Neumann Goretti point guard is crown jewel of Philadelphia hoops

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Diamond Johnson, Neumann Goretti's star point guard, is headed to Rutgers next year.

She realized she was pretty good at basketball when she was in the 7th grade. Named after the tough street she grew up on in North Philadelphia, some call her a diamond in the rough.

Johnson has dedicated the season to her father James, who passed away in December 2018 after complications from a stroke.

She says it's been really hard but she's tried to keep her emotions on the basketball court and use them against her opponents.

With her guardian angel watching from above, Johnson is hoping to reach the 3,000 point plateau for her career. She's already scored more than 50 points in a game three times, including 53 last month, on the one year anniversary of the night her father died.

"I think it was him putting the ball in the basket that night," she said.

"She's the heart of the city," says her coach Andrea Peterson. "Every time she walks into the gym she sells a crowd out."

Diamond was last year's Gatorade Pennsylvania Player of the Year. This year she's ranked the 5th best player in the nation.

But it's off the court where Johnson is a true gem.

"Everyone talks about her basketball side, but let's not forget about how humble she is and what a great kid she is off the basketball court," says Peterson.

"My message is just stay strong, keep your confidence up, because if your confidence goes down it will be hard to get it back up, stay positive, be a good person, and everything is gonna come back to you," Johnson said.

"The way she leads this team, she makes everyone around her better," says Peterson. "But I believe one day she has the will, you might see her as the President of the United States."
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