Lewis University senior hoopster looks back on stellar career with team
Jamie Johnson leaves the Lewis University women's basketball program after this season, but she never really will be gone as long as record books exist.
Johnson, a Marian Catholic alumna who is in her fourth full season and sixth overall at Lewis, is in the top 10 in the career rankings of eight categories, according to LewisFlyers.com.
However, Johnson's story of her time at Lewis is not just about statistics, but also of resilience.
Johnson, a guard, is playing this year for the Flyers after last season was cut short by a knee injury. She told the Will County Gazette that she tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee six games into the season, which kept her sidelined the rest of the way.
That was not her first experience in overcoming an injured knee. Johnson tore the ACL in her left knee during the preseason of the 2012-13 campaign.
“I'm evened out now,” she said with a laugh.
Johnson's mother is a physical therapist and helped her through the rehabilitation process. With the knees fully healed, she said she now doesn't think about them.
“When I'm playing, I'm playing," Johnson said. "I'm not really thinking about my knee,” she said.
And when she is playing, it usually has been the other team that has the concerns. Johnson was the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Player of the Year in the 2014-15 season, and she also brought home Daktronics Third Team All-American and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-American Honorable Mention honors. She also is a two-time All-GLVC First Team pick and a three-time Academic All-GLVC selection.
This season, Johnson will continue to pad her career totals in points (10th all-time at the school), 3-pointers made and attempted (both fifth), and free throws made (eighth) and attempted (ninth). She is also the top 10 in scoring average (eighth), free-throw percentage (first) and 3-point field-goal percentage (sixth).
“I'm really proud of my career here,” she said. “I feel like I've improved every year throughout my career. I mean, I've had a couple of setbacks in terms of injuries, but I think I'm a pretty resilient player and just trying to get ready every year and get better throughout the season.”
However, Johnson said individual accolades don't mean as much to her as the team accomplishments. The team's goal is always to win the national championship, she said. The Flyers opened this season ranked in the top 20 of two polls and were projected to finish second in the GLVC East in a poll of the league's coaches.
“If I do what I need to do individually and the team does what it needs to do, then I think we're going to be really successful, and we're going to see a lot of people get individual accolades as well as team stuff,” she said.
As for her basketball future, Johnson said she had thought about playing overseas, but has decided she will be done after this season as a player. This coming spring, she will complete her Master of Business Administration degree, with a concentration in marketing. She plans to join the work force, with maybe some coaching or skill-session instruction on the side.
“I think I'm pretty satisfied with my career here at Lewis, and I'm ready to move on to the next chapter,” Johnson said.