Colorado Springs, CO – A record-setting performance at the national tournament in Lubbock, TX capped a remarkable career for Shelton State’s (AL) Cierra Johnson. For her efforts, Johnson has been named the 2017-18 Spalding® NJCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Player of the Year.
Along with the national honor, Johnson received her second Region 22 Player of the Year honor and was named to the 2017-18 NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball All-America First Team.
Johnson led Shelton State to a remarkable run in 2017-18 as the Buccaneers completed a third-place finish at the national tournament with a 36-1 record. During the four game stretch at the national tournament in Lubbock, TX, Johnson went off for a tournament record 135 points, including a single-game record of 47 in the third-place match against No. 2 Gulf Coast State. For her efforts, Johnson was awarded Tournament MVP honors.
Madonna Thompson, Shelton State head coach saw first-hand the impact Johnson had on the hardwood. “Cierra Johnson is one of the most competitive and entertaining players I have ever seen play women’s basketball. Shelton State Community College has been fortunate to have her for the past two seasons. During this time, Cierra has improved and matured on and off the floor. She has been determined to be the best player in the NJCAA.
Johnson finished third in the nation in 2017-18 with 22.0 points per game which included 24 games of 20 or more points, three that saw the sophomore top 30 points. Johnson’s contributions were felt on all ends of the court with averages of 4.8 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
Johnson, who will receive her associate’s degree in May, has committed to play at the University of Alabama next year. “Everyone in Tuscaloosa is excited about following her and the Crimson Tide next year,” Thompson added. “I think Cierra has learned a lot about basketball and life during her short stay with us. I think she has become a better player and a solid young adult, and I know I have become a better coach.”