« Women’s Basketball 2011-12

Emilie Johnson

UC Santa Barbara


Johnson holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.40 as a psychology major with a minor in exercise science at UCSB.  In her sophomore and junior seasons Johnson was named to the All-Academic Team in the Big West, which requires student-athletes to maintain at least a 3.30 GPA while playing in 50 percent or more of the team’s games. She will graduate on time in June, 2012 and plans on going to graduate school and working as a graduate assistant at a university while attaining her Master’s. Johnson aspires to get into coaching or work in a form of education.


A two-time team captain for the team, Johnson has been a model student-athlete in her time at UCSB. She is always available for interviews or to be the spokesperson of the team in good times and bad, she has been a major piece of the program – and honestly, the face of the program during a recent coaching change. She was honored as a UCSB Athletics’ “Great Example” as a sophomore, which features some of the best work outside the lines by UCSB’s 450 student-athletes and no more than 35 are honored each year. Johnson was chosen as a “Great Example” because during the fires in Santa Barbara she volunteered at a shelter on campus out of the goodness of her heart, not as a UCSB Gaucho, but as a human. As a freshman, she was named the starting point guard and she led the team on the court to the Big West title and a NCAA Tournament berth. As a sophomore she averaged 37.2 minutes per game, which was one of the highest averages in the country. Despite developing “runner’s knee” due to her amount of minutes on the floor, Johnson has not missed a game since she arrived at UCSB and has started 63 consecutive games. Always featuring her signature smile, Johnson has been a fan favorite because of her attitude, hard work and ability.


One of the most active student-athletes in the local community, Johnson also volunteers her time when she returns home to northern California. While in Santa Barbara Johnson has led a group of her teammates to participate with the Montecito Boys and Girls Club, teaching basketball skills to the students while also helping them read and showing that an education and hard work is equally important to athletics. Johnson has also worked with the Cleveland Youth Group and at the Page Youth Center in the same ways. She has gone to several senior centers for presentations and to spend time with the elderly, helping them in numerous ways while also playing games with them. This summer Johnson was a part of the Fragile X basketball fundraiser, a local event that helped raise autism awareness. The event featured community members and service personnel (fire, police, EMTs) playing basketball games and Johnson was a part of the entire event – from setting up, to clean up and everything in between. Aside from her work with her teammates, Johnson is heavily involved on her own time and out of her own goodwill. In Santa Barbara she is involved at Reality Church where she helps set up the church every week and is helps run Bible study groups through Athletes in Action on campus. Since she was a junior at Del Oro High School she has helped train and coach younger female basketball players, ranging from 5th grade through high school ages. Every summer she goes home to participate in that volunteer work and trains between five and eight girls multiple times a week. “I’m just giving back to the town that I grew up in,” said the Loomis, Calif. native.


Johnson has been one of the best players to come through UCSB recently. She has led the team the past two seasons in points, field goals, 3-pointers, assists and steals. She was selected to Team USA to represent our country in the Pan Am Games. In her three seasons at UCSB she has been honored by the Big West all three times – as an All-Freshman Team pick, a Second Team pick and last season she was a First Team choice. Johnson ranks in the school’s top-10 in free throw percentage and 3-pointers and has already eclipsed the 1,000-point mark. By the end of her senior season she should rank in the school’s top-10 in assists and steals. She has been named a preseason Mid-Major All-American and a First Team All-Big West pick. In her freshman season, as the Gauchos’ starting point guard, she helped the team win the Big West regular season and tournament titles and as a junior led the team to the Big West regular season crown. As a junior she was named to the St. John’s All-Tournament Team during a December tourney in New York. The team’s captain each of the past two seasons, Johnson defines what it means to be a Gaucho.