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South Carolina star freshman Raven Johnson suffers season-ending knee injury


South Carolina freshman Raven Johnson is out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in the team’s win over South Dakota.

The nature of the injury was not specified, nor was the timetable for her recovery. The school simply updated Johnson’s status, calling it a “left knee injury.”

She exited the game against South Dakota with 3:57 to go in the first quarter on Friday after her left leg bent awkwardly as she cut to the basket.

“God allows things to happen for a reason,” Johnson said in a statement Tuesday morning. “I trust in Him, and I know He has my back. This is a minor setback for a major comeback.

“You will see Raven ‘Hollywood’ Johnson again. The comeback is always stronger than the setback!”

Head coach Dawn Staley also issued a statement, saying she is “heartbroken” for Johnson.

“Everyone could see what she added to our basketball team this year, and a lot of that are the intangibles that will also guide her through the recovery process,” she said. “Her tenacity and competitiveness will be put to use in a different way than she had planned this year, but they will sustain her, as will the support of her teammates and our coaching and medical staffs.”

Johnson, ranked the No. 1 point guard in the country and the No. 2 overall player of 2021, figured to be a major factor in the Gamecocks’ lineup this season. The Naismith and WBCA High School Player of the Year, she had come off the bench in each of the team’s first two games, recording eight minutes in the team’s win over No. 5 NC State.

South Carolina is set to face off against Clemson on Wednesday in its home opener at 7 p.m. ET.