Rolling Out

After shutting down Caitlin Clark, Raven Johnson gets Westlake jersey retired

Hometown hero receives her flowers

Raven Johnson‘s get back tour continues.

The South Carolina guard retired her No. 25 jersey at Westlake High School in South Fulton, Georgia, on May 6. The honor celebrates the 21-year-old’s luxurious basketball career that has already included four Georgia high school state championships, a 2019 USA Basketball 3×3 U18 National championship, a 2021 GEICO national championship, two SEC Tournament championships and two NCAA national championships.

Among those in attendance were her former University of South Carolina teammate and Atlanta Dream forward Laeticia Amihere, as well as two-time WNBA All-Star, 2022 Rookie of the Year and Dream guard Rhyne Howard. Tre McCain, the longtime videographer and photographer for not only Johnson, but also NBA superstar Anthony Edwards, was also in attendance and collecting more content.

Hilda Hankerson, Johnson’s head coach at Westlake, said she knew Johnson was a special talent because as a freshman, she already had four Division I scholarship offers coming from Sandtown Middle School.

Westlake athletic director and former NFL player Byron Parker put in perspective Johnson’s current situation as the national champion who just shut down one of college basketball’s greatest scorers ever, Caitlin Clark, a year after Clark embarrassed her on an open shot attempt a year before.

“I walked in the gym last summer and the first person I see getting up shots was Raven,” Parker said. “Opportunity met hard work. When the opportunity to play Iowa in the national championship came, she knew that she put in the work … not only did she do it offensively, she had to be in shape defensively. She was already prepared because she knew that moment would come back up.”

After the ceremony, in the midst of taking a photo with every single attendee, Johnson spoke to rolling out about her special day.

Congratulations on your jersey retirement. What was it like today to receive your flowers and that hometown love?

I’m very excited.

It hasn’t hit me yet, honestly. I’m just excited to share this moment with the people that I love and I enjoy. They saw me in high school, so I’m excited to see some faces I haven’t seen in a long time.

I see you’ve got the Dolce & Gabbana on. You’ve got it on today. What’s this outfit?

Some Givenchy boots, the Dolce & Gabbana [sweats and t-shirt]. The Van Cleef bracelet and my watch.

How can people support your merchandise through NIL?

It’s on my social media page. It’s everywhere.

Honestly, I have shirts that you probably saw some people wore [today], and those are selling like hotcakes.

What’s going on with Atlanta basketball lately, with the success of you, Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Brown and Flau’Jae?

Anthony Edwards, I’m about to go see him play on Friday in Minnesota.

He’s a killer.

I think Atlanta, we just raise killers. There’s something about Atlanta, like you said, there’s something in the water. I think it’s a home of athletes. We just have those athletes who come up, make it pro and you see going to that next level coming out Atlanta.

It’s just the beginning. We’ve got more people coming out of Atlanta.

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