Bell-Jeff’s Johnson drafted by WNBA team

April 25, 2001
BURBANK — Back in January, it looked as if Jaclyn Johnson would be saying goodbye to her career in women’s basketball at the conclusion of her senior year at the University of Kansas.

But it appears the former Bellarmine-Jefferson High star is not ready to hang up her sneakers just yet, after being drafted in the WNBA. Draft.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1 forward, was chosen Friday in the third round — 42nd pick overall — by the Orlando Miracle of the professional league.

“I don’t know if I was ready to give up basketball all together if I hadn’t been drafted,” Johnson said Monday from Lawrence, Kansas. “But I seriously had to think if it would have been the time to move on to

something else in my life. “But when I got drafted, that all changed.” Johnson, 21, was drafted following a career at Kansas that put her among the best women’s players in school history. This season, she led the Jayhawks by scoring 16.1 points a game, to go along with 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 steals and almost a block a game.

Johnson also scored in double-digits in 19 of 24 games her senior year and led Kansas in scoring 17 times.

In her four-year collegiate career, Johnson is fifth on the Jayhawks’ career rebounding list with 846 and 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,378 points. She is also fifth in career free-throws made (382), fifth in free-throws attempted (555) and fifth career games played (123).

Johnson joins an Orlando team that went 16-16 during the 2000 season, finishing third in the Eastern Conference. The team was eliminated in the first round of the WNBA playoffs by the Cleveland Rockers.

The Miracle will open its third season June 1 when it hosts the L.A. Sparks.

“I’m really excited about being drafted,” Johnson said. “I think if I work hard and and show what I can do, maybe I can make the team. “This is a great opportunity for me and I am looking forward to the experience.”

Johnson said she is leaving Saturday for Orlando to begin training camp.

There are probably not many local high school girls’ basketball fans who forget Johnson’s play.

When she played for Bell-Jeff four years ago, the senior struck fear in opponents with her fine shooting and powerful inside game.

“Do you think they still remember me in Burbank?,” Johnson said. “I had a lot of fun at Bell-Jeff.”

As a senior at Bell-Jeff, Johnson helped the Guards’ girls’ basketball team win the 1997 CIF Southern Section Division IV championship under Coach Jim Couch. She was also the division’s player of the year.

Jeff Tully/Burbank Leader

(UPDATE: After a successful pro carrerr, Jaclyn Johnson returned to her high school alma mater and is currently Boys and Girls Athletic Director at Bell-Jeff)


The Historical 2008 – 2009 Season

On March 20, 2009, The Bell-Jeff Lady Guards made history by winning the schools first ever CIF State Championship in any sport!

Under the direction of head coach Bryan Camacho and his dedicated coaching staff Anna Coranado, Damien Scott and Miguel Guzman, the ladies recorded an almost perfect season of 34-1.

The season also produced a Div V CIF Championship honors for CIF Player of the Year Shelley Gupilan, 1st Team All CIF Players Margeaux Gupilan and Rishonda Napier,  2nd Team All CIF Player Elizabeth Hawthorne as well as CIF Div V Coach of the Year Bryan Camacho.

Below is a collection of “Memories” from the four games of that Historical Run to the State Championship!

(Click on gallery name or arrows to view!)

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info:false; carousel:true; text:The Championship Run; open:opened; links:false; margin:8; align:center;]


In Memory Of Steve Aiello

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