One on one with... Saks' Daja Johnson
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Feb 19, 2014 | 1909 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
Photo by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star
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From August to May, Daja Johnson is wearing a Saks jersey.

Once the school year starts, Johnson is focused on volleyball. Afterward, it’s basketball. During the spring, it’s softball.

Johnson plays point guard for the basketball team and has started the last two years after being being pulled up to the varsity team as an eighth-grader. Last year was her first year starting on the softball team.

Of the three sports, basketball is her favorite.

At practice Monday, Johnson had another favorite -- food.

Johnson said she persuaded Saks coach Michelle Lively to buy the Wildcats ribs if they defeated Glencoe in the sub-regionals. A 63-59 win last Saturday clinched Saks' spot at the Northeast Regional and a meal of ribs. The leftovers were taken to practice to start the week of preparation.

Recently, Johnson took a few minutes from practice to sit down with Anniston Star sports writer Brandon Miller and answer 10 questions:

Question: Saks hasn’t been to the Northeast Regional since 2012. Are you looking forward to going back?

Answer: I’m kind of nervous. I got pulled up my eighth-grade year, which was the last time we went. I didn’t play much, but there were a lot of people there and there are going to be a lot of people there this Thursday. But we just have to settle in and play.

Q: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

A: Probably determined. I’m a very determined person. I see a lot of things around me happening, bad things that I don’t want to happen to me. I want to be successful when I grow up.

Q: A lot of players listen to music before games. What do you listen to?

A: I listen to a little bit of music before the game. I listen to a little bit of everything except country. I like to dance. In the area tournament, I walked in dancing, and we played well. From now on, I’m going to walk in dancing.

Q: What’s the best thing about your basketball and softball coach, Michelle Lively?

A: She’s a great coach. She’s a great role model to have. She’s very passionate about coaching us.

Q: The beginning of softball season is scheduled right around the corner. Do you ever think about it getting pushed back at all?

A: For now, my main focus is basketball. The other players have been practicing. Right now I’m excited to see what the basketball team can become.

Q: What’s been your favorite basketball game this year?

A: It was probably when we beat White Plains. We beat them in their home gym. We didn’t give up, just played and won by one point. It was probably my favorite because after that it seemed like this is what we could do.

Q: What do you have any pregame traditions?

A: I pray before every game. I pray by myself and then we pray as a team. I say my own prayer, which is never the same, I just kind of talk. As a team, we say The Lord’s Prayer.

Q: Do you have any secret talents?

A: I’m trying to learn how to play the guitar and the drums. With the drums, I just like beats and everything. The guitar, I just think it looks cool. I have an acoustic guitar, but I want an electric one because it plays louder and will get on my parents’ nerves.

Q: What’s your dream vacation spot?

A: I want to go to Hawaii one day. I want to just lay out on the beach and see the sunset. I could dance with the hula skirts on.

Q: Who’s the last person you called on the phone?

A: My mom. I just got off the phone with her. I had to call her and let her know I woke up this morning and made it to practice. Let her know I’m safe.
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