There’s a very practical side of Tianna Johnson when it comes to basketball.
“You hear so many people say they have to pay student loans,” said Johnson. “To do what
I love to do, to have (college) for free — that’s wonderful. I don’t want to keep paying student loans. Sounds stressful.”
After leading Peoria Richwoods to the Class 3A girls basketball state title in March, she’s been thinking about another goal — college. The senior would like to use basketball to get there.
But there’s one problem.
“People ask about my offers and I don’t have any,” Johnson said. “That makes me think I’m not where I am. I have to keep trusting my process.”
That process takes her to a small gym in Hanna City. Since July, she’s been working out there under the watchful eye of coach and trainer David Williams.
Williams has worked with highly-recruited boys basketball stars Da’Monte Williams (University of Illinois) and Adam Miller (Morgan Park High School).
“Tianna has tremendous upside,” Williams said. “She is a mismatch nightmare, too big for the
guards, too quick for the bigs. I think she can play at the Division I level.”
Williams believes it’s only a matter of time that college coaches will realize Johnson is ready to play at the next level.
“I do feel like I’m overlooked and underrated but I can prove people wrong,” Johnson said. “That’s what I’m out to do.”
Indeed she’s out to prove some people wrong. And prove she she can earn a degree without student loans.