Kaylee Johnson has been flying under the radar so far but that could soon change. The 6-3 senior forward moved up to No. 30 in the Oct. 3, ESPN HoopGurlz prospect rankings for the 2014 class.
Johnson, a Stanford recruit, is from Natrona County High School (Casper, Wyo.) and has been named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year the past two seasons. She averaged 18.0 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.9 blocks, 3.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game this past season to claim the 2012-13 honors. Johnson, who blocked 15 shots last year in a single, led the state’s Class 4A in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots.
Johnson is a long and athletic power forward who is very physical. She rebounds and runs the floor well. She is also a good passer and scores primarily in the paint.
In addition, Johnson has a strong work ethic.
"She gets after it every day in the weight room," Diehl said. "She has plates on there like the guys."
So how does a player with the pedigree of Johnson stay under the radar?
Basically it is because Wyoming, the least populated state in the nation, is not known for producing Division I basketball players. Only two or three girls earn Division I basketball scholarships out of the entire state each year according to Natrona County coach Doug Diehl.
To get more exposure, Johnson has played for AAU teams in Colorado and Montana the past three seasons. That meant that her mother, Sonjia Johnson, would drive four hours up to Fort Collins, Colo., to take her daughter to a weekly AAU practice and four hours back that night.
Johnson flew to practices and games in Montana.
Johnson claimed Wyoming’s Gatorade Player of the Year award in 2011-12 after leading the state in scoring, blocked shots and field goal percentage. She averaged 21.9 points, 12.8 rebounds, 6.2 blocks, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists while shooting 60 percent from the floor.
Johnson is also an excellent student, maintaining a 4.0 average.