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Yudia JohnsonGirls basketball

E.J. King, Japan

Last week: Helped pace the Cobras to a four-game sweep and the championship of the Canadian Academy Invitational Tournament in Kobe, Japan.

The junior averaged 13.3 points per game, including 23 in a victory over Kyoto International University High School. The Cobras (6-0) continued a remarkable turnaround for a team that won four games in the 2003-04 season and went 20-11 last season. Johnson’s play has been crucial in replacing the low-post scoring and rebounding of the graduated Erika Alexander, coach Bridget Vertin said. “Yudia is the glue that holds the Lady Cobras together,” Vertin said, calling her “irreplaceable.”

“She has really worked hard on her overall game and has filled the offensive void left by Alexander. She always gives her best effort and is constantly trying to better herself. She will do great things for the Cobras.”

Shamar RiddickBoys basketball

Robert D. Edgren, Japan

Last week: Averaged 17 points in powering the Eagles to victories in three of four games played in a weekend series — two wins against Class AA runner-up Yokota and a split of two games against Morioka Minami, a Japanese team.

The senior enjoyed perhaps his finest game in four years with the Eagles on Sunday, scoring 33 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in Edgren’s 75-66 triumph over Morioka Minami. The Eagles trailed 51-42 entering the final period, until Riddick “took over” in the last four minutes, coach Andre Thibert said.

“He has an excellent attitude in learning the game of basketball,” Thibert said of Riddick, the son of longtime Edgren girls basketball coach Sarah Richardson. “He works hard both on and off the court. Shamar will play an integral role in the success of the Eagles this season.”

— Selected by Stars and Stripes staff

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