Knoxville native and UT star Glory Johnson was the 21st Lady Vol named to the women’s basketball Coaches Association All-America team, which was not a surprise, as she averaged career highs in almost every stat column.

The award, along with the 141 games played, 1,643 points and 1,218 rebounds in her career, may give some idea of how great of an athlete Johnson is, but there are few awards that can express how good of a person and scholar she has been while in Knoxville.

“I would not call myself a superstar, but I had a really great run during my four years at UT,” Johnson said. “Even though we didn’t make it to the Final Four, our senior class won back-to-back SEC titles and I think that is a great accomplishment in itself.”

After the SEC Tournament Championship win over LSU, Johnson added another double-double (37 total) to her career and was named tournament MVP.

“Glory is as hard of a playing player that I’ve been around in 30 years,” assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. “I’ve been around some really great competitors, male or female. Glory Johnson plays as hard and as fiercely competitive as any player that I’ve had the honor of coaching. We’re so proud of her for that.”

Johnson was also named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team for her success in the classroom. She graduated cum laude early in interdisciplinary programs/global studies and was seeking a master’s in communication studies in her final year.

“My mom and dad were always really strict about achieving academic success when I was younger,” Johnson said. “I wanted to utilize my time here at UT so I set a goal for myself to never take less than 15 hours every spring and fall, and 12 hours over the summer.”

Mental toughness is what Johnson described as the key to her success. She explained that keeping your mind right even through hardships is essential, and there were certainly hardships for her. Prior to the beginning of this season, head coach Pat Summitt announced that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

“It was worse than enduring any personal injury, because there is no cure,” Johnson said. “Pat has been a mother figure in my life ever since I stepped on campus. Once we heard it, we were devastated, but there was no time for a ‘pity party’ like coach would say. She didn’t want us to feel bad for her because she was going to fight it. We know how strong she is so we trusted her, supported her and just loved her more for continuing to work with us.”

Johnson received many awards this season, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year, All-SEC Defensive Team, SEC All-Tournament Team and MVP and WBCA All-America District Team, among others, and it appears that her future will only add to the list.

“I plan on playing in the WNBA and overseas in the offseason until I can’t physically play anymore or am ready to settle down and start a family,” Johnson said. “I would love to work for ESPN one day, but those are just my hopes and dreams. I would love to coach but would only accept an assistant coaching position because I have seen how hard it is for head coaches every day and all the pressure put on them.”

Johnson wanted all of her fans to know a few things.

“I just want to thank (my fans) for supporting us through the good times and the bad,” Johnson said. “I want them to know I played every game as hard as I could play to keep them coming to more and more games. Lady Vol fans are amazing, and overall, the best fans in the nation.”