Former Central Michigan University women’s basketball player Taylor Johnson played her last game in a Maroon and Gold uniform in late March. But her basketball career is far from over.
Johnson has been invited to represent Team USA in the upcoming William Jones Cup in Taipei City, Taiwan after trying out Sunday in Indianapolis.
The forward was one of only two players selected from the US Midwest region.
“I never thought I would be in this position,” she said. “I’m just a small town girl who now has an opportunity to do something really exciting. For me, this is going to be about representing my town, my school and my country.”
The Belding native is the second CMU women’s basketball player to play internationally in the last two years.
Senior guard Crystal Bradford earned a gold medal during her competition in the World University Games with Team USA.
“I guess I know how CB feels now,” Johnson said.
The woman who recruited and then mentored Johnson during her four years at CMU was head basketball coach Sue Guevara.
“The thing that has always stuck out about Taylor is her versatility,” Guevara said. “She is a forward with decent size who can shoot the deep ball. She set some very important screens for us during her time here.
“She obviously made a pretty big impression during her time here and now other people are recognizing it.”
Johnson said representing the places and people closest to her is more important than personal accolades or career advancement.
“When I’m over there I’m going to make sure people remember where I came from,” she said. “This whole thing is bigger than me. I’m just one piece of a much bigger picture. I’m there to play for Belding, for CMU and for the United States of America.”
Johnson finished her career at CMU ranked seventh in all-time three-point field goal percentage. She eclipsed the 1,000-point mark with 12 points in a Jan. 18 overtime victory versus Bowling Green.
“Playing for Coach G has taught me so much as a person and an athlete,” she said. “Now I get to take what I’ve learned here at CMU and show people around the world what we are all about.”