Who says basketball players can't be brainiacs?
Lady Vols forward Glory Johnson defies the stereotypical collegiate athlete in more ways than one.
When originally looking at UT, Johnson was hoping to follow in her father's footsteps and major in engineering while playing basketball. She soon found that basketball and engineering simply did not jive together. The time commitment was just too much, and she chose the hardwood.
"My dad was kind of against me going to UT for the most part," Johnson said. "He wanted me to go to more of a Stanford or a Duke school, but he was ultimately on my side, and he was happy with the decision I made."
Johnson, a junior in global studies who is from Knoxville, comes from a unique family life. She is fully supported by her family, but her mom and her dad have taken different roles.
"My dad is more on the brainiac side of it," Johnson said. "He watches the games on TV. He doesn't really come to the games. He doesn't like to see me on the ground and being physical with other people. My dad will stay at home and watch the games, but my mom is a die hard fan."
While Johnson's dad watches from home, Johnson's mom became obsessed with basketball. She credits her mom as being her No. 1 fan.
"My mom is crazy," Johnson said. "She's a fanatic. She'll go to every game and be cheering. She's normally the loudest mom out there."
Even Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt can tell that the Johnson family has something special.
"They are a very close group," Summitt said of the family. "I think her mom has a great influence on her in the classroom. (Glory Johnson) takes care of business and on the court as well."
Johnson grew up playing as many sports as she possible, but she saw something in basketball that led her to continue the sport in college.
"There was scoring and running as much as possible," said Johnson. "There was also the physical team part of (basketball).
"With track, it's more of an individual thing, with you running your own race and everything. I think basketball is a lot more team oriented, and you can do a lot more with the sport."
Johnson's life may consist of basketball right now, but she hasn't forgotten about the future. She already has an idea of what she wants to do with her life after basketball is over.
"Global studies has a lot to do with sociology and economics," she said. "I chose to go the more business route, just because I love to deal with people and politics at the same time. I've played so many different sports growing up, and I would love to keep dealing with sports as I get older. Since I have such an athletic background, I would like to use it to the best of my ability."
With so many high expectations on her shoulders for so long, Johnson credits much of her success to what she has learned from her coaches throughout the years.
"Any coach that I have had, they have let me do whatever and worked with me on my game so much," Johnson said. "All the way back to my middle school coach when I was missing layups and bricking jump shots and not even hitting rim. They have just helped me keep my confidence up. My high school coach who played for Pat Summitt back in the day, she helps keep my confidence up. Even now, after games, she still calls me and tells me to be confident and don't worry about if my shot is not falling, or if I'm not playing as well as I'd like to."