The Phoenix Mercury took one of New Jersey high school’s best players in recent memory, as it plucked point guard Stella Johnson with the fifth pick the third round, 29th overall, of the 2020 WNBA Draft on Friday.
Johnson, who attended Morris Catholic High School in Denville, led the Lady Crusaders to three sectional titles (Morris County, NJ) and the Daily Record dubbed her Player of the Year as a senior.
Additionally, Johnson drained 361 points, grabbed 156 rebounds, dished 87 assists, had 31 blocks, and made 109 steals in 27 games in her senior year at Morris Catholic.
The Denville native also led the NCAA in ppg (24.8) and pts (745) in her senior campaign at Rider University (NJ) resulting in a Division-I Women’s POY honor and second straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) POY award.
Johnson was the second player to be plucked in the WNBA draft. The New York Liberty acquired Jocelyn Willoughby (West Orange/Newark Academy-East Orange), the 10th overall pick in the draft, from the Mercury via trade. The Liberty traded the rights to Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who was also acquired in Wednesday’s trade with the Mystics that included Tina Charles.
— Jerry Del Priore