Ocean View Christian Academy basketball player Sabrina Johnson and her coach Stephen Johnson, who is also her father and principal of the school.
Sabrina Johnson is a straight-A student, and it’s a good thing.
Just think of the trouble awaiting her if she got an “F” in a class or even on a single paper. She would have to face her basketball coach and probably be called into the principal’s office at Ocean View Christian.
Traumatic enough under normal conditions, but it would be especially devastating for the junior basketball, volleyball and softball standout.
The principal and girls basketball coach happens to be her dad, Stephen.
“The worst part would be when I got home,” she said, quickly adding, “but I’ve never been called into the principal’s office.”
Such a thought would almost be comical. At the private school of 88 secondary students, she not only excels in the classroom, she is the student body vice president.
Johnson is also a gifted athlete.
Through her first 2½ years as a Patriot, the 5-foot-9 point guard has 21 triple-doubles, a quadruple-double and enough double-doubles to make an In-N-Out Burger franchise envious. She has been the league Player of the Year twice and this season is averaging 12.7 points and 16.7 rebounds a game.
“A lot of times she doesn’t even play much of the third and fourth quarters,” said Stephen who has been with the school since 1991 and took the job of head coach the year before Sabrina enrolled when he couldn’t find anyone interested in the job.
“She used to play basketball with her older brothers, and when she said she wanted to play, there were no girls teams, so she said she’d be fine playing against the boys.”
Sabrina was 5 at the time.
While a girl that age might be ahead of the boys in maturity, she learned that even the youngest of boys play a much more physical game, often with a lot more passion. It only increased as she got older until finally, in junior high, she was able to find a girls team.
“Playing against the boys made me a better player,” Sabrina said. “But even when I started playing against girls, I discovered some of them play like guys, too. Guys play a lot different though — faster and with more intensity.”
Not that she’s through playing against the guys. When Stephen wants to make the practices a little more challenging, he and Sabrina’s college student brother, Jesse — both of whom are 6-foot-3 — will take the court.
“My dad is harder on me than the other girls; he has higher expectations,” said Sabrina. “I want that, too. He knows where I can go and pushes me to get better, and I appreciate it.”
Sabrina says she favors basketball over the other two sports because running the hardwoods keeps her in great shape. She also enjoys the camaraderie with the other players as the young club tries to find the right chemistry.
The Patriots lost in the Division V section championships to Tri-City Christian a year ago, but the challenge will be even greater this year with Horizon moving down into Division V.
“I always like challenges,” she said. “But it’s also kind of scary with Horizon. It will raise the level of competition, and that’s good.”