Originally posted on www.examiner.com by Reggie Malz
Jariah Johnson is a senior at Frederick Douglass Academy II and plays basketball for the Wadleigh High School Tigers. She plays AAU basketball for the CAS Panthers.
Growing up in NYC, every day Jariah faces distractions. She says, "There's always peer pressure of trying to do the wrong thing. In school, there are kids that don't care about their education. They behave so badly in the classrooms and are really rowdy. To stay focused in school, I just worry about myself. I make sure I do the right thing, make sure I do well in school, and I just ignore the other kids that don't care about school at all." For Jariah, this has certainly paid off. Throughout her high school career she has received Scholar of the Week, she has always been an Honor Roll student, and she is currently ranked #1 in her class.
Her passion is basketball. She says, "practice makes perfect, so keep practicing your skills. You don't have to practice with your team only; you can practice on your own also." Growing up watching basketball on television she has been influenced the most by Michael Jordan. "It's just the way he played the game. I mean, he made it really competitive and fun. He made me want to play basketball when I was little. When I watched basketball with my mother and grandmother, I just loved watching him and only him. He's the G.O.A.T.," (which stands for Greatest of All Time.) said Jariah.
In 2011, while playing in Orlando, Florida at AAU Nationals, Jariah tore her ACL and meniscus. "It was the worst injury I've ever had in my career. I was sidelined from basketball for a year. I went through lots of therapy, but it was really tough." In addition to the torn ACL and meniscus, Jariah experienced another set back after the surgery, "I caught a staph infection so I had to get another surgery after the first one. The staph infection pushed back my duration of playing basketball again." Although these experiences would discourage most players, it only fueled Jariah to work harder. In February 2012 she was finally able to play again.
Currently, Jariah is working on earning an athletic scholarship to play college in basketball.
Basketball Awards Jariah Johnson has won
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AAU High School Elite Championship
North Carolina AAU State Championships
South Texas AAU South District Qualifier
Region 23 Qualifier
AAU SOUTH TEXAS SHOWCASE
High Stakes Challenge
OneHockey New Jersey June 18-20
Region 21 (2) Qualifier
2021 Kentucky AAU State Basketball Championships