Women’s basketball coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton knew when she accepted the Virginia job, that she needed to revive the program. In the months since her tenure began in March, it’s clear that she wants some local cornerstones to be part of that rebuilding effort. Kymora Johnson continued that trend on Sunday.
Johnson, a class of 2023 guard out of St. Anne’s-Belfield just minutes from the John Paul Jones Arena, announced her choice as Virginia to close the weekend. She joined fellow 2023 commit Olivia McGhee out of nearby Louisa County in the class. Sam Brunelle, a former start at William Monroe locally and Notre Dame graduate, transferred into the program as well this spring and has since been named a captain.
All three players are not local fliers in terms of recruiting as they all ranked well within the nation’s top 100 prospects in their respective class. Johnson is listed at No. 30 on the ESPN HoopGurlz Top 100, while McGhee is No. 42. Brunelle was No. 6 on that list in the class of 2019.
CBS19’s Preston Willett summed it up quite well Sunday evening.
In just a few months at UVA, Coach Mox has brought three of the best players in the history of Central Virginia to @UVAWomensHoops.
Notre Dame transfer Sam Brunelle and top-50 recruits Kymora Johnson and Olivia McGhee set a great foundation for the Cavaliers.
— Preston Willett (@PrestonWillett) September 11, 2022
As a junior at STAB, Johnson was named the Gatorade Virginia Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year. She averaged 21.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 4.5 steals for the Saints. She also hit 47.4% of her 3-point attempts. The 5’8” guard, who probably handles combo guard type duties at the college level, also played AAU for the West Virginia Thunder. Johnson is a three-sport athlete for St. Anne’s with volleyball and soccer also part of her resume.
Johnson’s commitment just adds to the early recruiting surge underway by Coach Mox. In addition to Brunelle and McGhee, she also brought in Minnesota transfer Alexia Smith as another former 5-star recruit. Yonta Vaughn (Bishop McNamara/Maryland) and Cady Pauley (Milan High School/Missouri) came in with the class of 2022.
The coaches will start trying to translate the off-floor recruiting success into game settings in a few short weeks.