Denville native selected 29th overall in WNBA Draft by Phoenix Mercury

The WNBA Draft saw three athletes with New Jersey ties all have their names called, including Denville native Stella Johnson.

News 12 Staff

Apr 21, 2020, 9:57 AM

Updated 1,453 days ago

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The WNBA Draft saw three athletes with New Jersey ties all have their names called, including Denville native Stella Johnson.
"It was just a lot of chaos because my teammates were in front of me screaming and my parents were screaming from behind me so it was awesome to see all that love at the same time,” says Rider’s Stella Johnson.
Johnson was selected 29 overall by the Phoenix Mercury. Growing up in Denville and playing her high school ball at Morris Catholic, she says she never thought she would one day go pro.
“I grew up watching UConn a lot and just following those players to the WNBA and just saying it would be awesome to play on one of those courts with them and have my name on the back of a WNBA jersey,” says Johnson.
She'll now share a court with one of those UConn legends she grew up watching, as Diana Tarausi is one of her new teammates.
“It's going to be amazing to be able to play with them and meet them,” says Johnson.
As Johnson prepares to make her mark in the WNBA, she certainly left her mark at Rider. She's the school’s first ever all-American in women's basketball, surpassed 2,000 career points, and led all of Division 1 in scoring this season, averaging 24.8 points per game.
“Hopefully many people follow after me at Rider and Morris Catholic,” says Johnson. “I know there's a lot of great players coming in, a lot of great players that are there currently at both schools."
As the first WNBA draft pick from both Rider and Morris Catholic, she says she'll definitely hold onto those Jersey roots when she heads to Phoenix.


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