Immaculata’s Emma Johnson’s will graduate the Junior Heat program and join her sister on UBC Okanagan women’s basketball team.
KELOWNA, B.C. – UBC Okanagan Heat women’s basketball coach Claire Meadows has signed Kelowna native Emma Johnson for the 2015-16 season.
As a tenacious lock down defender from Immaculata, Johnson has started on her school’s senior team since the tenth grade and all three of those years she was a first team All-Star on a BC High School Provincial championship squad.
This past year the Mustangs played in ‘AA’ and still captured the championship, not only was Emma a first team all-star but was also named the top defensive player at the tournament as well.
This has made Johnson one of the top 15 high school players of 2015 as voted by coaches province wide.
On top of her individual awards, Johnson, a guard who stands 5’8, averaged 21 points per game and 5.4 steals per game in her senior year proving that her strong moves and speed will add depth to the 2015-16 season for Meadows and the Heat.
Johnson, the consummate winner during her high school career, noted, “I hope to bring good defense. We were always taught at Immaculata that offense wins games but defense wins championships.”
“Emma is a true competitor. She will immediately impact the environment of our program with her endless work ethic and desire to win,” says Meadows. “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 5’6” 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 has stated that 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 Emma on one of the positives of having an older sibling on the roster. Working out with many of the current Heat players over the past year has also allowed Emma to “fit in quicker”.
With both sisters’ competitive edge, a healthy competitive 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. 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 highly renowned Nursing program on the Okanagan campus of UBC upon joining her new team and school and cites that as a factor in her choice of schools. “And I know that UBC O is one of the few University’s that allows you take nursing, and play a sport, so that was appealing to me.”
Similar to her athletic goals Johnson’s depth in academics hopes to one day land her a Master’s degree in pediatric nursing.
Meadows believes that Johnson can excel at UBC Okanagan noting that “Emma works equally as hard on the court as she does in the classroom making her an exceptional student-athlete and a great addition to our program.”
Along with success in basketball, Johnson has earned provincial championships in many different sports throughout her high school career. This past year her Mustang’s volleyball team won the ‘A’ provincials, and her high school soccer team is the two-time defending ‘A’ provincial champion and will go for a three-peat this Spring.
Emma’s high school career was outstanding but she honed her skills and caught the eye of the Heat coaching staff by playing against top competition on her club team the past three springs.
“I’ve played Junior Heat for three years and it helped me to become comfortable in the UBC O gym and think about one day wearing a real Heat uniform and that thought made me very excited to have the opportunity to play here.”
Johnson is one of a group of three recruits that have committed to play for the Heat women’s basketball team that have come from the Junior Heat Club program as she joins forward Jordan Korol (Vernon Secondary) and forward Hannah Friesen (Kelowna Secondary) as freshmen on the 2015-16 roster.