Thomas Dale High alum Ka’lia Johnson had a storied career and will go down as one of the best players to ever suit up... Johnson honored for record-setting career at TDHS
Leon Gholson and Ka’lia Johnson

Thomas Dale High alum Ka’lia Johnson had a storied career and will go down as one of the best players to ever suit up in the state of Virginia.
She was recently honored by her school by having had her jersey number retired last week.

“I’m very thankful to Coach Gholson for making this happen,” Johnson said. “I never believed something like this would happen. It’s something to be proud of.” 

Johnson won Central District player of the year three times, was regional player of the year as a senior and received first team All-State honors in both her junior and senior seasons. She set the all-time scoring record at Thomas Dale with 2,075 career points, which ranks her 27th in state history. Over her career, she averaged 20.1 points, grabbed 842 rebounds and recorded 46 double-doubles and 15 triple-doubles. Perhaps most important, she received All-Academic honors all four years of high school.  

“Dale is special,” Johnson said. “I really learned how much I loved playing basketball there. I just remember always wanting to be in the gym,” she continued. “Fast forward to today, I’m in the gym still, just on the other side.”

Johnson went on to play at Duke and reached the Elite Eight once.

After earning a sociology degree, she was a graduate assistant at UNC-Greensboro, helping with video. During that time, she earned a master’s degree in liberal studies. Now, she’s the video coordinator for VCU women’s basketball.  

Johnson also played professionally in Europe for two teams: BLK Slavia Praha and Alte Kanti Aarau.