Hannah Johnson: basketball player extraordinaire

December 12, 2012 — by Helen Wong

Hannah Johnson prepares to shoot during a game last year.

Everyone on the  girls’ basketball team knows and respects Hannah Johnson for her prowess on the court.

Everyone on the  girls’ basketball team knows and respects Hannah Johnson for her prowess on the court. She has been on varsity since freshman year, and has received honors such as First Team All League and All Mercury News Honorable Mention sophomore and junior year and League MVP junior year.

Johnson is a captain this year and a power forward. She began in fifth grade, initially influenced by how many of her friends had joined the sport. She was also tall for her age, so her mother thought she would be good at it.

While Johnson, now standing at 5-11, had a lot of raw talent early on, she found that teamwork was just as important as her individual skill.

“You have to put a lot of trust in your teammates to do their part during games,” Johnson said. “You won't win if one person chooses not to play their hardest.”
This sort of teamwork is appealing to Johnson.

“I think the reason I love it so much is that you don't just make friends; you make really close friends who all work super hard for you,” said Johnson. “All five people have to be really invested.”

Johnson not only likes the sport for its teamwork aspect, but also for the game’s quick tempo.

“I love that every play during basketball is different,” Johnson said. “Games are always so fast paced, and when you mess up, you always have your teammates to pick you up again.”

Teammates such as junior Trishika Shetty look up to Johnson as a role model.

“Hannah is an amazing player and she works really hard during the season,” Shetty said. “On top of her being skilled she is probably one of the nicest and classiest players in our league, so she really inspires me to work as hard as her and commit as much as she does to our team.”

Shetty also admires Johnson’s work ethic. As one example, Shetty said Johnson still came to weight lifting even though she had to dress up for Homecoming court right after. One week, she never failed to show up to practice despite having pink eye and being sick.

As a power forward, Johnson tries to pull down rebounds and score from inside, but she also has the freedom to take outside shots.

Making the ‘12-13 season especially challenging is that the team has moved up a league.

“Well, we are in the upper league this year and it is one of the best public schools leagues in the area,” Johnson said. “We are going to have to work really hard to do well this year, but I think we can be successful if we stick together and don't get down when we play bigger, stronger teams.”

While facing stronger teams in upper league seems daunting, Johnson is optimistic about the team’s future.

“We work super hard and other teams aren't going to see us coming,” Johnson said.

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