Lady Ranger signs with UT hoops
Precious Johnson decided to seize her future and that materialized into a free ride to Austin, Texas.
On Wednesday, the Sterling High School Lady Ranger basketball player signed a national letter of intent to play the sport with the University of Texas starting next year after toiling in relative obscurity until recent months.
Dedication has led Johnson to a spot among the elite.
“Honestly, I am trying not to cry,” Johnson said. “I am really excited to open up a new chapter. With high school basketball, I had a rough start because I had some personal stuff going on and I didn’t play my freshman year. That threw everything off and I took a break from basketball.
“When I came back I had to get back in the groove.”
Johnson played AAU with Houston-based program the Texas Phenoms and that’s where she hooked up with the Longhorns.
“That really got me discovered,” Johnson said. “After taking off from basketball - and I had only done basketball - I realized I am good at that. I got really chubby after I stopped playing and I was like, ‘this is not it.’ Once I started playing, I started working out every day.
“Losing weight elevated everything and boosted up my speed.”
First-year head coach Monique Everett has only recently been able to enjoy the spoils of Johnson’s labor to become a better basketball player, but as she looked out into the stands full of vocal supporters – young and old – she also reveled in the moment for the Lady Ranger.
“This is absolutely amazing, she deserves this,” Everett said. “She has worked hard this summer and preseason and she will go on to do great things. She has really evolved that much that fast. She put it in her mind what she was going to do. She lost 50 pounds between last year and this year and dedicated herself and went hard in AAU season and is ready to go.”
Johnson likes her drop step and is aiming at becoming better at hitting an outside jumper, but she also plans on expanding her repertoire.
“I want to work on dominating the up-and-under,” Johnson said. “My coach is trying to keep me in the post, but I am also working on my shot.”