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Johnson helps Team USA bring back the gold

Brittanny Johnson is still in the early stages of her coaching career.

What did the Evanston Township High School girls head basketball coach learn this summer? How to go for the gold.

Brittanny Johnson, Head Girls Basketball Coach at Evanston Township High School

Johnson served as an assistant coach for the USA Under 17 national team that captured the gold medal Sunday at the FIBA ​​World Cup in DeBrecen, Hungary. The United States rolled to 7 straight victories over the 9-day international tournament competition, including an 84-62 conquest of Spain in the title game Sunday, July 17th.

Ask Johnson and she’d tell you it’s the ideal way for a basketball coach to spend her summer “vacation.”

“It’s been quite a summer. I’ve never been to Europe, never seen an international basketball game. . . and I’ve never won a gold medal until now,” Johnson said.

“I came back home with an attitude of gratitude, to have been part of an experience like this. I’ve played and coached in a lot of championship games so far, but I’ve never won one. It’s really cool to win the first one like this. Now, I’m inspired and motivated to come back here and win a state championship.”

Johnson, along with head coach Sue Bishop of Archbishop Mitty HS in California and assistant coach Tom McConnell of Indiana University/Pennsylvania, capitalized on the opportunity to guide the top 12 players in the country in that under-17 age group. Almost all of the USA standouts, including tournament MVP Judea “Juju” Watkins of Sierra Canyon HS in California, will play Division I basketball once they reach the next level, most at schools in Power 5 conferences.

Johnson to this day isn’t sure how she showed up on the national team’s radar. She does know, however, that the path to a gold medal started for her back in February of 2020 when her cell phone rang and it was Carol Callan, who represents the US on the FIBA ​​executive committee, on the line.

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