This past season the Brenau Golden Tigers Basketball welcomed in a new assistant coach, Sheena Johnson, after former assistant coach Avery Scarbrough resigned.
Johnson started her basketball career in Bristol, TN, which led her to playing basketball for King University for two years. She then transferred to Mars Hill University. During her time at Mars Hill, she was a Carolina Player of the Week, ranked 5 in the conference for 3pt percentage, ranked third in free-throw percentage, won the Conference Carolinas Championship and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately she suffered multiple injuries that prevented her from finishing her junior year, and an ankle injury and surgery that kept her from playing any of her senior year.
During this time Johnson said “I never stopped trying to rehab and recover, but things just didn’t quite work out.” Luckily for Johnson, her head coach made her an unofficial assistant coach where she helped with the load by developing scouting reports, scheming out our offense and defense, and doing a little player development. This is what led her to pursue a coaching job at Brenau after finishing her undergraduate.
“ I was researching places that I thought I might want to coach at and I came across Brenau. I got in touch with Coach Stewart, interviewed, and got the job,” Johnson said. This 2019-2020 basketball season is her first official coaching job, but Johnson feels that she has already learned so much from the Brenau program and the head coach Kris Stewart. Johnson says, “Coach Stewart has done an amazing job showing me the ropes and because of this I think I’m becoming a better coach. I’m excited to continue learning and to get better everyday.”
Stewart says “Sheena grows everyday in her coaching abilities. She is a great addition to the Brenau team.” Some may find it as a challenge for Johnson to be coaching players close in age with her, but she believes it gives her an advantage. She feels as if she can relate more to her players because he is not too far removed from being in their position.
Cameron Mims, current Brenau Basketball player, says “Coach Sheena is one of the most enthusiastic assistant coaches I’ve ever had……..I am glad she is now apart of our program.”
The only challenge Johnson has faced with being a new coach is working on her masters as well. “Coaching and working on my masters at the same time is difficult, but honestly it’s about the same as being a student athlete. As a former student athlete it just feels normal for me to come home and do homework after a long day.” said Johnson.
One thing that brings Johnson joy while coaching is watching her players get better in an area they’ve been working on with her. “One of the main reasons I wanted to coach was to be able to show young women how to lead and to help them develop into successful members of society.” Johnson kept this same positive emotion when speaking on how optimistic she is for the upcoming season.
She may be new to coaching, but this is definitely something she sees herself doing in the future. Johnson plans to continue to learn as much as possible as an assistant coach and eventually become a head coach one day.