Who’s Raven Johnson’s Family? Meet South Carolina No. 25’s Support System

Published 03/31/2024, 2:57 AM EDT

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South Carolina’s talented point guard Raven Johnson is known for exuding self-assuredness. This confidence stems from her strong family connection driving her on-court offense and setting up scoring opportunities for her teammates. Statistically speaking, Johnson has emerged as one of South Carolina’s key players who has stepped into her role after overcoming a painful injury.

Her versatility lies in her knowledge of where her shooters want the ball to be passed and how to move in a seamless symphony with MiLaysia Fulwiley and Te-Hina Paopao. Like many great players, Johnson also has a support system that has helped her along the way.

Raven Johnson was introduced to the sport by her grandfather

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At the tender age of 5, little Raven and her twin brother Richard were introduced to the sport by their grandfather Rodrick Boone, a retired officer of the U.S. military service. Her grandfather had given her and her brother a cool nickname, as she puts it, “They used to call us ‘thriller killer’ because he had the offense and I had the defense. Playing with my twin brother and granddad made me want to play.” 

Encouraged by her grandfather, Johnson started playing basketball early in the sixth grade. He loved it and believed that she would be good at it. Interestingly as a young girl, Johnson used to play with Brianna Turnage, aka ‘Snoop’, who is currently playing as Florida State Seminoles’ guard. Another trooper in her little girls’ gang was Ta’Niya Latson, who too is a guard on the Seminoles roster.

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Johnson spent her freshman year playing with Latson at Westlake High School as a point guard for the Westlake Lions. Their time together in high school certainly helped to create great and everlasting team chemistry and relationships. “We have good chemistry on and off the court. If I see her, she see me,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s mother Shekia Johnson is another figure who has been with her throughout her journey. During last season’s Final Four, The Gamecocks were beaten by Caitlin Clark-led Iowa. The match became infamous for Clark waving off Johnson at the 3-point line and instead focusing on Aliyah Boston in the paint. This led to quite a few memes and jokes on social media which hurt Raven. After the title game, Johnson deleted all social media.

Johnson was struggling and it was up to her mother to help her out in this difficult situation. “Honestly, I talked to her about Caitlin,” her mother said. “I said, ‘You don’t think Caitlin is under pressure? When she doesn’t perform, you don’t think she’s dragged just like the rest of you are? She gets it, too. She gets the bullying, too.”

She reminded her daughter of her freshman season when she tore her ACL just two games into the season and underwent rehab for months. Shekia assured her daughter that she recovered from that and will come back from this setback as well. Slowly and steadily and with help from other friends, Raven was soon found her grove.

Her mother was her inspiration again when Raven decided to give back to the community in her own noble way.

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Johnson giving back to the people

Last year, Johnson sponsored an essay contest called “Shoe Game!” According to the contest, kids in 6 to 12 grades were to send paragraphs on the topic – “Importance of Education.” Johnson announced on social media. Crediting her mother as the driving force behind the competition, she said, “She’s big on education and gets on me about my education. Being a young athlete sometimes I can go down a slope with education, but she puts me back on my heels.” 

Shekia Johnson ran the email account affiliated with the contest and helped coordinate everything. Across five weeks between when Johnson first announced the contest on social media and the deadline, over 100 kids submitted essays. Johnson couldn’t read those 100+ essays as she was gearing up for the season. As a result, she turned toward her mother

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“I read the majority of them,” Shekia told GamecockScoop. “My mom writes children’s books, so she read some. Once we narrowed it down, she read a good bit of them.” Notably, 15 kids won the contest and each of them was rewarded with a pair of customized sneakers designed by Johnson’s shoe artist.

Thus Raven Johnson, who has found support from the people in her life is also trying her best to give back and even in that venture she has her family supporting her.

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Written by:

Dimple Gupta

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Dimple Gupta is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Dimple is adept at in-depth coverage and brings insightful coverage with her captive chronicles. Her articles often discuss trade details, NIL deals, and other monetary aspects.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo