RECRUITING: Northwestern suits Gaels star


With a grade-point average above 4.0 and the ability to step out and hit a 3-pointer, Dannielle Diamant had everyone from Duke to California to Harvard interested in her.

But about the only thing the Bishop Gorman senior power forward hasn’t needed to put much thought into was her college choice — Northwestern. She first gave an oral commitment to play for the Wildcats in July, a decision she cemented last weekend during her long-awaited official visit.

“It totally confirmed my decision,” Diamant said of the visit, which began Saturday and ended Monday. “It’s a great school. Location-wise, it’s perfect. I like having (Chicago) there, but it’s not in the middle of the city.”

The 6-foot-4-inch Diamant, the granddaughter of former UNLV men’s basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, was a third-team all-state pick last season. She averaged 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in helping the Gaels to a 32-4 season and a Class 4A state title.

Diamant expects to take on more of a leadership role this season as Gorman tries to replace two players who are now with Division I programs — center Ashley Gayle (Texas) and guard Darriel Gaynor (Oregon).

Though Diamant must improve her quickness, she should have a solid future at the college level because of her jump shot, Gorman coach Sheryl Krmpotich said.

“A four who can shoot the 3 is dynamic at the college level,” she said. “I think her best basketball is ahead of her.”

Though she cannot sign a national letter of intent until Nov. 12, Diamant is relieved to have the recruiting process behind her.

“It makes everything so much easier,” she said.

In addition to Diamant, two other local girls basketball players have committed to Division I programs — Durango guard Mia Bell to UNLV and Palo Verde guard Hayley Henderson to Northern Arizona.

JOHNSON FINALIZING VISITS — Cheyenne boys basketball standout Elijah Johnson is finalizing his schedule of official visits, Desert Shields coach Teral Fair said.

Johnson, a senior who is considered one of the top point guard prospects in the country, recently had in-home visits from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, Fair said. The 6-2, 183-pound Johnson averaged 14.4 points last season for Cheyenne, which lost 76-72 to Reno in the Class 4A state title game.

“His passing ability is his biggest strength,” Fair said. “You’ll see a lot more of that this upcoming season because of the kids we have around him.”

Another Northwest League guard, Mojave senior Anthony Marshall, committed to UNLV on Aug. 14.

TALENT AT FINDLAY — Three of the Findlay Prep boys basketball team’s four seniors have committed to Division I programs:  forward Carlos Lopez (UNLV), guard Avery Bradley (Texas) and guard D.J. Richardson (Illinois). Forward Victor Rudd also is considered a major-college prospect but has yet to commit.

The Pilots are not affiliated with the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.