Rutgers women's basketball freshman guard Diamond Johnson has been named a top 10 candidate for the Nancy Lieberman Point Guard Award. The award is presented annually to a player who displays, “the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills that personified Nancy Lieberman during her career,” by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The top 10 will be narrowed down to five in March. Those five will be presented to Lieberman and a selection committee of Hall of Famers, members of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and media members. On April 9, the award winner, along with the remainder of the Women’s Starting Five will be revealed.
Johnson was a part of the women's head basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer's recruiting class that was ranked eighth in the nation by ESPN for 2020. She was ranked the No. 6 recruit in her class after winning the Gatorade Pennsylvania Girls Basketball Player of the Year twice in her high school career.
The 5-foot-5 inch Philadelphia native scored 15 points in just 20 minutes on 5 for 6 shooting including three three-pointers made in her debut for the Scarlet Knights (5-3, 1-3). Johnson is averaging approximately 18 points per game, which places her at second in program history for freshman scoring average. She also won Rutgers’ first Big Ten Freshman of the Week award in program history.
When the Knights play Indiana on Thursday night, it will be the first game for the team since Jan. 3 due to postponements caused by positive tests within the program.
Johnson is 1 of 3 freshmen in the top 10. If Johnson wins the Nancy Lieberman Award, she would be the first freshman to ever do so.
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