Three years ago, when she blew out her right knee, Tara Johnson harbored a few doubts about playing basketball at her accustomed level. Then, when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament on her other knee just over a year ago, Johnson’s anxiety increased.
Despite the leg problems, the recent Portales High senior standout concluded her prep career injury-free.
Today, Johnson will sign to play at Lubbock Christian University.
LCU had shown interest in giving the 5-foot, 8-inch point guard a scholarship over the last few months. But it was only within the last month that Johnson decided that Lubbock was the place for her.
“It’s a pretty good school and it’s a pretty place,” Johnson said. “Steve Gomez (head coach of the Lady Chaparrals) is a good guy; I like him.”
The Lady Chaps finished 27-7 last season, advancing to the NAIA national championship tournament.
Johnson, who also played volleyball at Portales when not injured, finished her Rams days when Portales advanced to the Class 3A girls basketball championship in March.
In 2006, when Johnson was a freshman, the Rams took the 3A state title.
“I tried out for them about a month ago and I decided I wanted to go there to play basketball,” said Johnson, who added her knees are doing fine these days. “Oh, they’re good. No problems at all.”
Glenn Johnson, Tara’s father, is the boys track and field coach and former head football coach for Portales. When his daughter went through the knee injuries and subsequent periods of rehabilitation, Johnson still had confidence in Tara’s ability to recover.
“There might have been a little bit of doubt in the beginning. But after seeing the way she came back from the injury and rehab, the effort and determination she put forth, from then on I knew she’d have an opportunity to continue,” Glenn Johnson said