Two members of DeLaSalle’s 2012 Class 3A girls’ basketball state championship team have made college commitments.
Senior forward Tyeseanna Johnson, the Islanders’ leading scorer, decided Sunday on Iowa State while guard Allina Starr, who gave a verbal commitment to Georgetown last year, has changed her mind and will play at Auburn.
Johnson selected Iowa State after visiting there this week.
“It was because of [Iowa State coach] Bill Fennelly,” DeLaSalle coach Faith Johnson Patterson said. “He made her feel special and he did his homework. There’s a lot to be said for a coach who knows how to use a player's talents in the right way and he’ll do that.”
Among the other schools on Johnson’s short list were Auburn, North Carolina St., Memphis and Denver.
Starr backed away from her commitment to Georgetown to follow the coach who recruited her, Terri Williams-Flournoy, to Auburn, where Williams-Flournoy became the head coach last spring.
“For Allina, that coach not only believed in her from the beginning but was very supportive through the whole process,” Johnson Patterson said. “Allina was her top recruit and she was willing to wait for her.”
The commitments of Johnson and Starr run the number of basketball players who have played for Johnson Patterson to earn scholarships to 20. She coached at Minneapolis North prior to taking over at DeLaSalle in 2010.
“It feels incredible to be able to help that many kids,” Johnson Patterson said. “A lot of them might not have been able to afford college. It makes you want to keep doing it.”