Western center Dana Johnson, the area's most highly recruited girls basketball player, will sign a national letter of intent Wednesday to attend the University of Tennessee, according to Western coach Breezy Bishop.
Bishop said Johnson, an All-Metro first-team selection last year and a Street & Smith's preseason second-team All-American, had narrowed her choices to Tennessee and Maryland from more than 200 schools that were recruiting her.
The early signing period for seniors who plan to play basketball at Division I schools begins Wednesday and runs through Nov. 21.
"The thing that made me choose Tennessee was that I feel I can achieve all my goals there," Johnson said. "Hopefully I can be an All-American, win a national championship and make the Olympic team."
Said Bishop: "I feel as though Dana is one of the top 10 players in the country. I concur with her decision and support her 100 percent.
"Dana combines academics with athletic ability. She had excellent SAT scores. And now that she has made a decision, she can concentrate in the classroom and concentrate on having a good season at Western."
Johnson, 6 feet 2 and 212 pounds, was the area's dominant inside player last season. She averaged 19.6 points, 13.8 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots to lead the Doves to a 27-0 record and a No. 1 ranking. Johnson, who had also considered Georgia and North Carolina State, was named MVP of three tournaments as well as the Metro Classic last season.
Bishop, who said she has had 36 of her players receive athletic scholarships in the past 10 years, called Johnson, whom she discovered as a freshman in a physical education class, the most heavily recruited athlete in Western history.
"The Johnson family couldn't take the phone calls [from the schools] at all hours of the night anymore," Bishop said. "We were supposed to meet [yesterday] at her house and make a decision, but her family called me with the decision Tuesday night."