Lauren Elliott, a 5-4 junior, and D’Andre Johnson, a 6-1 senior, are talented point guards whose consistent play and strong leadership have led Cass Tech High’s girls and boys basketball teams, respectively, to the top of the Detroit Public School League West Division.
With both the Lady Technicians and Technicians destined to be top seeds when the Big D tournament starts next week, both Johnson and Elliott have been named the PSL’s Proud Strong Learners of the Week.
“It’s a good honor, especially to get it back-to-back,’’ said Elliott, who also was a PSLer of the Week last season as a sophomore. She has seen her role as a vocal leader increase with the graduation of All-American Branndais Agee.
“I think I’m playing well but it’s definitely been different,’’ she said. “Normally, I wouldn’t talk as much but now I’m learning how to be more of a leader. I’m getting more comfortable in my position of having to step up and guide my teammates and things of that nature.”
Elliott, who averages 11 points, seven assists, and 4.6 steals, likes to get her team teammates involved but she’s also gained more confidence in her own shot. “I’m definitely getting a lot more shots up,’’ she said.
Lady Technicians’ first-year Coach Marissa Thrower said the team has been well served by Elliott’s leadership.
“She’s our captain and our floor general,’’ Thrower said. “She’s a coach on the floor. When she talks to her teammates, they listen to her. She’s just a phenomenal athlete and student.”
Though she still has another year of high school remaining, Elliott is already receiving letters from college recruiters. A student with a 3.5 grade point average, she plans to pursue a degree in sports management and hopes to play professionally.
“It’s good that I still have another year to get more offers and see what doors open for me,’’ she said. “I hope to play in the WNBA or overseas. But, if not, I want to be a sports agent.”
Despite their unbeaten 7-0 league record going into the final regular season game Friday against CMA, the Lady Technicians know they’ll have to beat King, the unbeaten PSL East leader and the state’s No. 1-ranked team, if they’re going to eventually come through the Big D tournament and win the league championship.
Elliott welcomes the hurdle as a challenge her team is eager to face.
“We’re working hard in practice and the outlook is good for us,’’ she said. “We’re looking forward to that game. We’re preparing for it each and every day.”