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Top-ranked prep star Dakari Johnson commits to Kentucky

The SportsXchange

The strong just got stronger, as high school standout center Dakari Johnson announced Saturday night that he has committed to enroll at Kentucky, according to ESPN.com.

Johnson, considered by many as the top high school senior in the country and the 12th overall prospect on the ESPN 100, chose Kentucky over Georgetown and Syracuse. The New York City native plays for Montverde Academy in Florida. He said that Kentucky's winning tradition and head coach John Calipari and his staff were the deciding factors.

"I just want to win a national championship," Johnson said. "I want to win a high school championship, then a college championship and hopefully an NBA championship.

"(The coaching staff) told me this was not the place to come if I didn't want to work hard," he added. "But I want to work hard and I want to get pushed. And I think Kentucky is the place for me."

Montverde, ranked No. 1 in the ESPN poll, routed No. 12-ranked Chicago Simeon in a nationally-televised 82-53 win at the Cancer Research Clinic on Saturday. Johnson made his announcement afterwards.

When asked what he can bring to KU, Johnson wasn't shy in his response.

"Just a hard worker," he said. "A presence in the paint and in the post on offense and defense. And I'm a good teammate. I think I'm a good person on and off the court."

Kentucky now has three players ranked as the best in the nation at their respective positions: Johnson, point guard Andrew Harrison and shooting guard -- and Andrew's twin brother -- Aaron Harrison. The Wildcats have also received commitments from the No. 2 ranked shooting guard, James Young, No. 11 power forward Marcus Lee and three-star standout Derek Willis.

Kentucky has enjoyed the No. 1 recruiting classes in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the No. 2 class in 2012.
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