March 6, 2013
St. Joe's MJ a star -- or should be
Lawrence Pierce
St. Joseph's Mychal Johnson goes to the hoop against Man's Jennifer Shull.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- SHE'S THE MOUNTAIN State's most underrated sports star.

Which is strange.

Bizarre, in fact.

Because even though the junior seems down-to-earth and even-keeled, all about her screams Hollywood and TMZ.

She's committed to play hoops at Notre Dame.

She's the most skilled girls player this state has produced in years.

Her initials are M.J.

And her boyfriend has been Andrew Wiggins, perhaps the nation's No. 1 boys high school player.

Do we need any more glitter for 5-foot-8 St. Joseph Central star Mychal Johnson?

Johnson and Wiggins alone should be enough for supermarket tabloid headlines. (Mydrew?)

This week, Johnson and (appropriately enough) the Fighting Irish of St. Joe in Huntington are trying to successfully march through the Class A field. On Wednesday, Johnson had a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in her team's easy 89-29 victory over Man.

Her play is certainly worth a trip to the Civic Center.

"She's probably the most skilled [girls] player that's been around in a while," said St. Joe coach Shannon Lewis. "She can go left-handed or right-handed. She can pass or dribble with both hands. And she has a great jumper.

"Where she's really improved, though, is with her 3-point shot. That, and having more of a scorer's mentality. She's always been a great facilitator. But her play is more complete now. Plus, she's a fierce competitor."

Johnson, a combo guard, is one of the nation's most highly regarded players. ESPN ranks her No. 27 overall nationally and No. 8 at point guard. She's made waves at many key showcases.

"Pretty much everybody offered her," Lewis said. "She gave a verbal commitment to Notre Dame [this past] October. She went there on an unofficial visit, came back and told her parents she really liked it. Maryland, WVU and Kentucky were kind of in the mix. Connecticut talked to her the day before the visit trying to get her not to commit.

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