West Virginia University women’s basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit announced the addition of two student-athletes for the 2023-24 season, as Grace Grocholski (North Prairie, Wis./Kettle Moraine High School) and Ayianna Johnson (Jefferson, Wis./Jefferson High School) have signed National Letters of Intent.
Grace “GG” Grocholski | North Prairie, Wisconsin | Kettle Moraine High School
A 5-foot-10 guard out of North Prairie, Wisconsin, Grocholski plays for coach Todd Hansen at Kettle Moraine High School and her travel team, the Wisconsin Lakers, for coaches Mike and Joe Elles. Rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN, she is a member of the ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2023.
As a junior in 2021-22, Grocholski averaged 21.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game and helped Kettle Moraine win the WIAA Girls Basketball State Championship in 2022. Following the state title game, she was named the WIAA Girls Basketball State Tournament MVP.
Grocholski capped her junior campaign by being named the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Female Athlete of the Year and the Waukesha Freeman Girls Basketball Player of the Year. She also was the MVP of the Select 40 Tournament in the summer of 2022.
A member of the Associated Press (AP) and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-State Division 1 First Team, Grocholski has won the Classic Eight Conference Player of the Year award in each of the last two seasons. What’s more, she has been an All-Classic Eight Conference First Team selection since the 2019-20 campaign.
A two-time first team all-area selection by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Grocholski is Kettle Moraine’s all-time leading scorer. She also played volleyball for KMHS and was a two-time first team all-state selection, according to the Women’s Volleyball Coaches Association (WVCA), for the Lasers. Additionally, Grocholski was named to the All-Classic Eight Conference First Team every year of high school.
Grace is the daughter of Gary and Tara Grocholski.
“Grace is an extremely competitive and versatile player who we believe will be an incredible fit for our style of play,” Plitzuweit said. “Grace shoots it very well, she handles it, she posts up, but one of her greatest assets offensively is her ability to create for her teammates with her passing. Grace also has versatility on the defensive end, combined with great toughness and a high basketball IQ. Grace is a very motivated young lady and an incredible teammate as well. We are very excited to have Grace and the Grocholski’s joining our Mountaineer family!”
Ayianna “AJ” Johnson | Jefferson, Wisconsin | Jefferson High School
A 6-foot-3 forward out of Jefferson, Wisconsin, Jefferson plays for coach Dena Smith at Jefferson High School and her travel team, Milwaukee 1on1, for coach Nikki Nellen.
As a junior in 2021-22, Johnson averaged a double-double for JHS, with 17.8 points and 12.3 rebounds per game. She also finished the year averaging 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Johnson earned honorable mention status on the 2021-22 All-State Team by the AP and WBCA, and also was named to the All-Rock Valley Conference First Team. She also was selected as the Jefferson High Girls Basketball MVP as a junior.
A member of the 2020-21 All-Rock Valley Conference Second Team, Johnson began her career by helping the Eagles to the 2019-20 Rock Valley Conference and WIAA Regional Titles as a freshman. At the end of her freshman campaign, she was named to the All-Conference Team as an honorable mention and was awarded the JHS Girls Basketball “Most Improved Player” award.
Johnson also was a standout on the Jefferson High track and field team, where she competed in the discus, shot put and triple jump. She won the WIAA State Championship in the discus throw in 2021-22, while also collecting eight Rock Valley Conference titles, four WIAA Regional titles and four sectional titles across her first three seasons of high school. Johnson has been named the Rock Valley Conference Track & Field MVP twice.
Johnson also competed on the girls golf team at Jefferson High and has helped the squad win two Rock Valley Conference team titles and a WIAA Regional championship.
Ayianna is the daughter of Shana Johnson.
“Ayianna is a post player who is a very tough competitor,” Plitzuweit said. “We absolutely love the way she gets after it on the court, as well as the energy and enthusiasm she provides to her teammates. Ayianna is a great athlete who sprints to the rim, posts aggressively and pursues rebounds aggressively. On the defensive end, she makes plays with her length and her ability to move her feet. She keeps players in front, she alters or blocks shots, and she rebounds well. Overall, Ayianna is a tremendous young lady, and we are very thankful that Ayianna and her family are now officially Mountaineers!”