Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball player Anastacia Johnson is continuing her basketball playing at the NCAA Division II level after inking with Missouri Western State University in St. Josephs, Missouri, on Monday.
Johnson, a 2-time all-Region IX defensive team selection, is the fourth Cougar to ink to continue her playing. She follows Division I signees Jaleesa Avery to Morehead State, and Melisa Kadic to Idaho State, and Kellie Gaston, who will he attending NAIA Fisher College.
Johnson, who was also looking at the University of Nebraska Kearney, fell in love with Missouri Western. Plus, she said, she has family down there so she won’t be along.
“I am going to Missouri Western State University and I decided to go there because I built a really strong relationship with their head coach and they have this program I plan on going into, forensic investigation. The campus is really nice and I felt like home. It was just a nice feeling overall.”
Johnson came to WNCC from Cherokee Trail High in Aurora, Colorado. In her two seasons at WNCC, she averaged 7.3 points a game. Last season, in helping the Cougars to their second national tournament appearance, the 5-foot-7 guard averaged 7.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.9 assists a game.
Johnson finished her 2-year career with 480 points and shot 43 percent from the field. She also tallied 180 career steals and 160 assists.
Johnson said she has improved as a player in two years at WNCC.
“From my freshman year to this year, it has been a huge difference,” she said. “I have a lot more confidence, not only in my defense, but with my shot in being able to score. It was just a really big transition from last year to this year and I can’t wait to see the next two years how much I will get better.”
Johnson’s biggest highlights was competing at two straight NJCAA national tournament. She was a part of the Region IX championship team her freshman team. This past season the team earned an at-large bid to nationals and fell to Tallahassee Community College in the first round. Tallahassee went on to win the national tournament.
Johnson said it was a thrill winning regionals and competing at nationals the last two years.
“Winning regionals we realized that all our hard work paid off and it was a big feeling,” she said. “[Competing at nationals] felt really good because my high school wasn’t really good. But coming here and being a part of a winning program, it felt nice. We love to win.”
Johnson, who is planning on going into forensic investigation at Western Missouri, said it is going to be hard leaving WNCC.
“I will miss the people,” she said. “I have so many good memories and I have meet a lot of good people in my life here.”