One of the top high school basketball players in the province this past season will keep her talents right at home.
Immaculata senior Emma Johnson has signed on with the UBC Okanagan Heat women’s team for the 2015-16 Canada West campaign.
Emma joins her older sister, Olivia, with the Heat program which will be led this season by first-year coach Claire Meadows.
As a tenacious lockdown defender, Johnson has started on her school’s senior team since Grade 10 and was a first-team all-star in each of her three season at the B.C. high school championships.
In 2015, the Mustangs played at the AA level and, with Johnson leading the way, still captured the B.C. title. In addition to being a first team all-star she was also named the top defensive player at the tournament.
On top of her individual awards, Johnson, a guard who stands 5-foot-8, averaged 21 points per game and 5.4 steals in her senior year, proving that her strong moves and speed will add depth to the 2015-16 season for Meadows and the Heat.
“I hope to bring good defense,” said Johnson. “We were always taught at Immaculata that offense wins games but defense wins championships.”
Like Johnson, coach Claire Meadows is new to the program and looks forward to having a player who values winning and defense.
“Emma is a true competitor,” said Meadows, who takes over from the retired Heather Semeniuk. “She will immediately impact the environment of our program with her endless work ethic and desire to win.
“Not only is Emma one of the fastest players in the open court coming out of high school, but she also has incredible strength, enabling her to be a lock down defender.”
With a competitive edge and quickness for defense Johnson will accompany her sister Olivia, a 5-foot-6 guard who will be going into her third year, on the Heat’s roster next fall.
With an experienced defensive specialist for a sister, Emma said transitioning into the program with an older sibling could only be an advantage.
“I think that I am not as nervous in front of people I know,” explains Johnson.
Working out with many of the current Heat players over the past year has also allowed Emma to “fit in quicker.”
With both sister’s competitive edge, a healthy atmosphere will be added to the team dynamic and will assist in challenging the squad to push themselves to the fullest.
“Our whole family being so close in age is very competitive with one another,” whose dad, Rob Johnson, is the athletic director at UBCO. “Olivia and I are no different, we are very competitive with one another but at the end of the day we are able to be excited for each other’s accomplishments and I think that will make us excellent teammates.”
Johnson plans to enter the nursing program at UBC Okanagan.