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Why LSU’s Flau’jae Johnson is among the finest personalities in ladies’s faculty basketball

ALBANY, N.Y. — Flau’jae Johnson ran to the LSU bench, throwing her fist against her chest and shouting in celebration with her teammates. Standing at just 5’9”, she’d just deflected a shot attempt from 6’4” UCLA forward Angela Dugalić in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to all but seal the Tigers’ win and

Why LSU’s Flau’jae Johnson is among the finest personalities in ladies’s faculty basketball

ALBANY, N.Y. — Flau’jae Johnson ran to the LSU bench, throwing her fist towards her chest and shouting in celebration together with her teammates.

Standing at simply 5’9”, she’d simply deflected a shot try from 6’4” UCLA ahead Angela Dugalić within the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to all however seal the Tigers’ win and a berth within the Elite Eight. However that wasn’t her solely huge second of the sport.

With simply over a minute and a half to go within the sport with LSU main 68-67, Johnson was on UCLA star guard Kiki Rice. Preventing via a display as Rice drove to the basket, Johnson stayed together with her and bought a hand on the ball earlier than it met the rim and even drew the cost — a deflating second for the Bruins.

Angel Reese threw her arms round Johnson instantly afterward in an embrace. It was Johnson’s 24 factors and 12 rebounds that helped get the Tigers over the road, notably when Reese fouled out of the sport minutes later.

LSU will now face Iowa on Monday evening for a spot within the Girls’s Closing 4 in Cleveland on April 5.

Johnson has taken a little bit of a leap in her second yr with LSU after bursting onto the scene as a freshman throughout final season’s run to the NCAA title. Nearly all of her averages have risen as a sophomore, notably as a scorer. She averages 14.7 factors per sport whereas taking pictures 39.5% from lengthy vary.

The scoring was vital towards the Bruins, however her work on the glass was maybe extra so. Reese mentioned after their Candy 16 sport that the group went into Saturday with a mantra of “no rebounds, no rings,” and Johnson completed with a group main 12 boards, which she let Reese find out about afterward.

“We nonetheless bought out-rebounded, however as a group and our guards did an important job tonight rebounding,” Reese mentioned.

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“Yeah, I had extra rebounds than Angel,” Johnson replied.

“Only one! Only one,” Reese exclaimed.

Johnson performs the sport together with her coronary heart on her sleeve, celebrating buckets with teammates and followers and getting much more excited when her teammates make a giant play. When Reese bought an and-1 to go within the second half, Johnson leapt immediately into the air off each ft. The second displayed her athletic hops, but in addition the kind of ardour and power she brings to the court docket.

Requested about Johnson after the sport, head coach Kim Mulkey emphasised the enjoyment she brings on the ground and her work ethic behind the scenes as a basketball participant and rapper.

“While you hear her discuss, she simply has that pleasure about her,” Mulkey mentioned. “She has no agendas. She will get little or no sleep. That child might be up at 5:00 each morning writing stuff for her profession and goes to class and involves follow and works out.”

Heading out of a timeout with the sport all however in hand, Johnson went over to a big Tigers’ fan part within the area and held her hand to her ear. She wished to listen to extra, and it’s removed from the primary time she’s pumped up a crowd.

She’s been rapping since she was seven years outdated, according to the New York Times, having introduced her dedication to the Tigers alongside the discharge of a brand new tune.

Her musical inspiration comes from her late father, Jason Johnson, a rapper recognized by the stage title Camoflauge, who was fatally shot in 2003, months earlier than the delivery of his daughter. His stage title is the supply of Johnson’s first title.

She’s taken some criticism for doing each basketball and rap on the identical time, being instructed to “get within the health club” slightly than file or carry out. She launched a brand new tune titled “AMF” (Ain’t My Fault) simply earlier than LSU’s first spherical sport.

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On the court docket proper after the Tigers win over UCLA interview cameras and ESPN’s Holly Rowe surrounded Johnson. The interview was memorable, however her character and spirit was plain.

“On a regular basis I’m within the health club placing in reps, every single day,” Johnson mentioned. “I do know persons are gonna discredit me trigger I rap and I hoop, so I do know I’ve gotta go additional laborious. In order that’s what I do.”

Rowe talked about the brand new single and the way right this moment’s win was her fault. In response, Johnson smiled and raised her arms as much as either side.

“It’s our fault! It’s our fault!”

“Individuals are going to discredit me as a result of I rap and I hoop, so I do know I bought to go additional laborious.” “She does rap, her new single is ‘It Ain’t My Fault,’ however right this moment, this win was your fault.” “It’s our fault!” Nice postgame interview of Flau’jae Johnson from Holly Rowe.

— Terrible Asserting (@awfulannouncing) March 30, 2024

Later, sitting within the postgame press convention with teammates and Mulkey, Johnson was requested if this was the perfect sport of her profession and had a fast reply.

“No. I’ve performed higher video games. I really feel like my complete life, I’ve been hooping a complete very long time. That is only a greater stage for me, and simply give all of the glory to God and dealing. That’s it.”

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