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Johnson picks Kentucky

Kentucky coach John Calipari had already signed the top-ranked point guard (Andrew Harrison) and shooting guard (Aaron Harrison) in the 2013 class.

Johnson becomes Kentucky's fifth 5-star commitment in the 2013 class.

With the commitment of Montverde (Fla.) Academy 5-star big man Dakari Johnson Saturday night, Calipari and the Wildcats added the top-ranked center to its embarrassment of riches.

Ranked as the No. 13 overall prospect in the 2013 class by 247Sports, Johnson picked Kentucky over Georgetown and Syracuse during a live announcement on ESPNU fresh off posting 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in his team's 82-53 win over Chicago Simeon.

"I want to go to a place where I can win a national championship ... next season I'll be attending the University of Kentucky," Johnson said on ESPNU.

"Coach Cal, coach O [Orlando Antigua] and coach [Kenny] Payne were just honest from the get go. They told me this isn't a place to come if I was selfish or I wanted the ball all the time or didn't want to work hard. I want to work hard, I want to get pushed and I want that pressure on me because that makes me a better player."

Johnson had no shortage of ties to both the Wildcats and the state of Kentucky.

Johnson, who attended Lexington (Ky.) Sayre Middle School in eighth grade, was forced to sit out last season at Montverde after following Boyle and transferring from Elizabeth (N.J.) St. Patrick's, where he played alongside former Cat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

He still has family in the Lexington-area and has taken a pair of unofficial visits to UK.

Johnson is a force on the low block and more of a traditional, back-to-the-basket center.

"A hard worker, a presence in the paint on the offensive and defensive end," Johnson said. "And I'm a great teammate."

Johnson is UK's sixth 2013 commit, joining Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, James Young, Marcus Lee and Derek Willis.

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