Emily Johnson joins 1000 point club


photo by Eric Hurelbrink

Emily Johnson shoots her 1000 point shot during the Lady Hawks senior night game against Teutopolis. Graphic by Kaleb Renfro.

Saturday, Feb. 20, senior Emily Johnson joined the 1000 point club during the senior night game against Teutopolis. Johnson has played basketball for all four years of high school and plans to attend Illinois State University to major in Allied Health Professions.

“Basketball means a lot to me, to be able to do something I love with all my friends and having great coaches that are supportive of me,” Johnson said. “I felt so proud to be part of the 1000 point club. I’m so thankful for my teammates and coaches for being so supportive in helping me accomplish this achievement.”

The 1000 point club is a milestone many seniors before her have reached at Meridian. Maggie Comerford in 2015, Layne Kircher in 2017, Jacob Jones and Garrett Meisenhelter in 2019 all precede Johnson. Though the stands weren’t able to be full for this memorable moment, that didn’t stop her from achieving this goal.

“On the court, she is all about business. She understands her assignments. She is the most mentally tough player we have. In four years I have never seen her hurt, or had to take her out of a game for an injury. She plays through it all,” coach Mike Houran said.

This goal isn’t reached alone, though. The only way for a player to be able to climb to the 1000 points, they have to have the help of their team members. Whether providing assists, making great passes, or blocking players to clear the way, getting there is a group effort, and Johnson knows this.

“I think it’s amazing that Emily got her 1000 points during a time of uncertainty. We could have gotten a case of covid and the season would have been over and that was a fear for everyone,” senior, Ellen Jackson said. “I am so proud and happy for Em that she could accomplish something so big, especially on our senior night!”

“The 1000 point milestone is nice. People need to understand that this is not an “individual” accomplishment. Emily will be the first to tell you she doesn’t get there without the teammates she has had the last four years,” Houran said.

It isn’t just a supportive team that has pushed Johnson along. Her family has been a big part of her basketball career. Drew Johnson, Emily Johnson’s father, even coached the girl’s basketball team her fifth-grade year.

“My family is so proud of me for reaching this milestone.  They are so supportive in my life for whatever I put my mind to. I know that they couldn’t be any prouder of me. I am so thankful for them pushing me to be the best player/person I can be.” Emily Johnson said.