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CCA athlete signs first female scholarship

Elaina Johnson of Chilton Christian Academy signed a scholarship to play basketball at Judson College in Marion on May 4 and made history in the process.

Johnson became the first female at the school to sign an athletic scholarship.

“To have someone to sign and play at the next level will be a big boost for our school,” CCA head coach Caleb Jones said. “It is something for our current and coming up players to see and work towards.”

The scholarship was offered after Johnson was invited to basketball tryouts in mid-April and won over the coaching staff with her performance.

“I thought after my senior night that it was over,” Johnson said. “It’s exciting that I get to play the sport that I love for at least another year.”

Johnson had played at the high school level since seventh grade. She got her first taste of competitive basketball in Upward while in second grade.

She was a multi-sport athlete during her time at Chilton Christian Academy, but basketball always seemed to have a special place in her heart.

“My team has made this the best experience for me,” Johnson said.

Johnson plays in the post. It is a position that she has grown comfortable playing as she has learned over the years how to use her size to frustrate opponents.

“She is one of the hardest working girls that we’ve had,” Jones said. “Just a never-quit mentality and always willing to fit in where needed.”

Defense is the aspect of Johnson’s game that has improved the most during her high school career.

“I was horrible at defense,” Johnson said. “I had to really put in the time and effort to get it where it is.”

According to Johnson, she liked the smaller size of Judson College and the tight-knit atmosphere that was evident during her visits.

As she signed the paperwork and made it official, a range of emotions came over her.

“I was excited and nervous all in the same moment,” Johnson said. “I’m really thankful for the opportunity.”