Humble Summer Creek senior forward Maliyah Johnson has verbally committed to the Texas A&M women’s basketball program.
But before the 6-foot-3-inch Johnson sets her pledge to the Aggies in stone, she has unfinished business to which to tend. She and the Bulldogs are hungry for another trip to state, which they hope will end in triumph as opposed to last year’s near-miss.
“She plays with a lot of passion and leads her team vocally and with her play,” head coach Carlesa Dixon told Texas Scorecard. “You can always expect her to play hard. She dominates the game whether from the inside or making plays for others.”
Johnson’s three-year prep career coincides with her coach’s time at the helm of the Bulldogs. As an underclassman last season, Johnson earned All-Greater Houston Girls Player of the Year honors after producing a line of 12.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
She etched her place in Humble Summer Creek lore last year when she rescued the Bulldogs with a put-back shot to lead them to a hard-fought triple-overtime victory in the regional title game and a first-ever state tournament berth.
Johnson and the Bulldogs, however, fell to Dallas DeSoto, 58-49 in the Class 6A state semifinal game. It is no surprise that this year’s Summer Creek squad wants to do better than bow out as state semifinalists.
“We’ve been on this journey together,” Dixon said. “We definitely learned a lot from each other. She knows how to deal with her, and I know how to deal with her. I think we make a great combination as a team and are really looking forward to helping Summer Creek get to where it should be this year.”
Highly ranked because of their strong finish last spring, the Bulldogs began the current campaign by demolishing Cypress Cy-Fair, 115-49.
Dixon praised Johnson’s pledge to TAMU as “a great fit for her.” The Aggies, who are led by scoring machine Chennedy Carter, are among the top women’s college basketball teams in the nation.
“Just to be under a legendary coach like Gary Blair is going to be beneficial for her,” Dixon said. “She’s going to a great situation.”