by Janet Nwachukwu
This year’s girls basketball team has a new coach, Coach Ivan Johnson.
Coach Johnson had been teaching and coaching at First Baptist Academy (Dallas) for several years. But last year, he “had the pleasure of coaching against Ricky Clements.” The two hit it off pretty well and later Coach Clements asked him to consider coming to Brook Hill. Johnson continues, “It was God’s plan for me to come to Brook Hill, and the godly coaches that I met from Brook Hill allowed me to realize that Brook Hill was indeed a special place.”
Coach Johnson absolutely loves the Brook Hill family and community, and has very easily connected with the teachers, administrators and the headmaster, Rod Fletcher. He also loves teaching at Brook Hill and challenging the students in his sixth and eighth grade math classes to reach their full potential.
Coach Johnson was born a basketball player. He was practically born wearing Air Jordans and dribbling a basketball the day he was born. His father was a basketball coach and as any typical kid, Coach Ivan Johnson wanted to be just like his father. He had no desire for football or baseball, just basketball. Nothing caught his eye more than dribbling a ball.
But you see, Coach see’s life as much more than just basketball.
Yes, both he and the team are very excited about the new season. But what really moves him is the opportunity to work with the girls and encourage their growth as both people and athletes. Johnson remarked that this year’s group of girls is very coachable. The returning students have great attitudes about the season, and both varsity and junior varsity teams have been working very hard.
“You can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength,” Coach Johnson says when asked how he motivates his players. “I remind them that we are Brook Hill; we are valiant and we are all we have. We love each other, we fight for each other, and we protect our tradition. Never give up, never quit and never forget who we are,” he continues to say.
Coach Johnson sets a great example for these girls by teaching them to get better, work harder, and honor God. He wants them to be competitive, to learn the game and to remember that basketball is a game to be enjoyed.
“Life is real,” he explains, “people are real and drawing them to our Creator is most important. I want them to believe in what Brook Hill stands for and show it on the court.”
Some say, “Ball is life.” Brook Hill’s Coach Ivan Johnson knows life is more.
Keep an eye on this coach and his team this year. It’s going to be a great season for both.