Atlanta Native Raven Johnson Gets ‘Revenge’ On Caitlin Clark, Helps South Carolina Win NCAA Championship

Raven Johnson entered the NCAA Women’s Final with a chip on her shoulder. During last year’s tournament, the South Carolina player and Atlanta native was the subject of a disrespectful taunt by Iowa’s star player Caitlin Clark. 

When Johnson received the basketball at the top of the three-point line, Clark waived her off and refused to play defense on her. With the gesture, Clark basically stated that Johnson was not a good shooter and didn’t need to worry about playing basic defense on her. In basketball, it’s an ultimate sign of disrespect. 

The clip went viral and Johnson became the subject of jokes with internet memes. She even cried after the clip began circulating, deleting her social media for her mental health. It impacted Johnson personally and forced her to work on that aspect of her game. 

“I think it put a chip on my shoulder to just get in the gym and get better. Improve on my game, improve on who I am,” said Johnson in a recent interview. 

Johnson, who graduated from Westlake High School in Atlanta, was able to get revenge on Clark as the South Carolina Gamecocks battled the Iowa Hawkeyes in the NCAA Championship game. 

Clark, arguably the most celebrated women’s player in NCAA history, started the championship game on fire, scoring 18 points in the first quarter helping Iowa build a 20-point lead. 

Before the second quarter, Johnson approached South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and asked to guard Clark one-on-one. It changed the trajectory of the entire game. 

Johnson harassed Clark, guarding her full court. She blocked Clark’s shot twice and stole the ball from her four times. One of the biggest moments came right before halftime when Clark dribbled up the court, looking to take the final shot of the half. Johnson swiped the ball from Clark and scored an easy layup to help the Gamecocks to secure a three-point halftime lead. 

Overall, Clark only scored 7 points, shooting 3-11 from the field and committing four turnovers when guarded by Johnson. 

The Gamecocks would walk away with the 87-75 victory as Staley secured her third National Championship win. 

During the post-game press conference Staley spoke about Johnson’s redemption. 

“I do think the waving off in the Final Four last year held her captive,” Staley said. “Raven’s got the bullhorn saying this is revenge tour. Then for her to actually lock in and play Caitlin the way we needed her to play her — we knew she was going to get her points. We wanted her to get her points in an inefficient way. Like I look at the stat sheet, it’s beautiful.”



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