Former Depiro BC forward Hannah Johnson announced her next step in her basketball career, this time on the sidelines as the assistant coach for the girls’ program at US high school Bishop Alemany.
Johnson, who spent close to four years in Malta with the Mtarfa club, was one of the stars of the team but faced a number of injury problems, keeping her out of most of last season. The team ended up bringing compatriot Kelly Koshuta to make up for size together with youth player Danika Galea taking on a more dominant role.
While injury hampered her time on court, Johnson, who had already acquired coaching experience at youth level back in the US as an assistant coach for the NCAA Division One team the Washington Huskies, shifted towards mentoring. In Malta, the California native became a part of Depiro’s coaching staff at youth level and was also the coach for the club’s initiative ‘Hoop 4 Health’ which involved taking basketball into five different schools.
Speaking to the Times of Malta back in an exclusive interview back in 2020, Johnson had said she always had coaching as one of her options after her time on the court.
“I’m thinking of exploring different options, but I want basketball to always be a part of my life,” she had said.
“I love it so much that I got my masters in coaching. If you asked me five years ago, my dream was to be a Division One coach and win a national championship but I’m also a big family person and I want kids one day.
“I’ve seen coaches that because that job is so serious and literally a lot of hours and travelling two to three times out of the month, it’s a very tolling job.”
Johnson was one of this summer’s departures for Depiro, together with fiancé and former Malta international Monique Caruana, as well as Koshuta who has not been re-signed for the coming season under new coach Fatih Dedelioglu.
The 6’1 forward will now join the coaching staff of a Los Angeles varsity side that is coming off a top-seed finish in the Sunshine League with an undefeated record under coach Jeff Dosado. As an alumnus herself, Johnson announced her appointment, clearly raring to go.
“Playing a different role now, but best believe the passion and love for this place hasn’t changed! Let’s go!” she said on her socials on Tuesday.
Johnson was the first player to ply her trade in the Maltese basketball league after having managed to play a final four and reached the Last 16 of the NCAA Division One tournament.