UCSB student-athletes are a special group of young men and women who also serve as great role models to the many fans and youth that support them in sports and in everyday life. Each day more than 450 UCSB student-athletes compete in the classroom, compete in their respective sport and give back to the community. This week's Great Example is women's basketball player, Emilie Johnson. A native of Loomis, California, Johnson is working towards a major in psychology with a minor in exercise and health science. Johnson's sense of work ethic, leadership, and contributions to the community has highlighted her as standout in the Gaucho community.
Described by her coach Lindsay Gottlieb as a "total team player and tireless worker," Johnson has become one of just three true freshmen to open her college career at UCSB as point guard over the past decade. She was named to the All-Big West Freshman Team after an outstanding season where she played in all 32 of the Gauchos' games and made all but two free throws the entire season, setting a school record. She ranked third in the Big West in 3-point field goal percentage.
"In all my years of coaching, I don't know that I've come across a player that is more dedicated to making herself a better player day in and day out," Gottlieb said. "Off the court, Emilie is someone that you would want your daughter to look up to. She is a terrific student, studies hard, and posted a 3.9 GPA last quarter."
During the Jesusita Fire, in Santa Barbara this past May, the Thunderdome was turned into a temporary Red Cross center. In addition to balancing her studies with basketball, Emilie independently signed up to be a Red Cross volunteer to assist the evacuees.
Johnson took some time to answer a few questions about herself.
1. Are there any mottos that you live by? I live by many but two that stand out are "Make everyday your masterpiece" - John Wooden or "There are many things that are essential to arriving at true piece of mind, and one of the most important is faith, which cannot be acquired without prayer." - John Wooden
2. If you could only pick one I.V restaurant to eat at, which one would you pick? Only one restaurant. It would have to be Silvergreens.
3. What do you like to do in your free time? I love to do outdoor activities such as, biking, hiking, or kayaking. My most recent adventure is backpacking in Tahoe.
4. Do you have any pre-game rituals? Just get all my warm-up shots in so I feel mentally ready for game time.
5. What has been your favorite class at UCSB so far? It would have to be my Anatomy class I took last Spring Quarter.
6. What is one thing about you most people don't know? I had to wear leg braces as a baby because the doctors believed I would never be able to run.
7. If you couldn't play basketball, what other sport would you want to play? If I couldn't play basketball I would snowboard since I don't have the time to go now with basketball season in the winter.
8. What is your favorite part about Gaucho basketball? The community support. I love the blue and gold that follows us on the road and support us every game.
9. What is the most embarrassing moment in your basketball career? Falling over my feet during warm-ups in front of a very large crowd. I guess I was nervous.
10. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? Jesus Christ because He has the true power of faith.
11. If you could have any super power what would it be and why? Have lightning quick speed so I can travel around the world and see every special place in the world.
12. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why? The top of Mount Everest because it's the highest place in the world.
13. What are your dreams after college? I have many dreams but one that comes to mind is to have a job that I can make a difference in other people's lives through what I do.
14. What are your interests outside of basketball? Relaxing with family, friends, and my dogs.
15. What is your biggest challenge mentally or physically in basketball, and how do you overcome it? Sometimes I want to win and succeed so bad I forget why I am playing the game and I think too much instead of just having fun.
16. What are your career aspirations? Career aspirations would be to coach college basketball or do something with sports psychology.
17. What is the best thing about attending UCSB and being a Gaucho? The entire package of the education, the beach, and the athletic program.