Senior Spotlight: Callaway Basketball and Track star Gabrielle Johnson

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a series on athletes in their senior year of high school in Troup County.

Callaway basketball and track star Gabrielle Johnson is best known for her prowess on the basketball court — a sport she has played since she was four years old. Her father loves basketball and her mother played in high school, so it was a natural fit that she’s stuck with since she was young.

Johnson stands at 5’3 and often gets overlooked on the court.

“I get underestimated because I’m smaller,” she said. “I shoot threes to make up for it.”

Cavaliers head coach Deyano Martin has helped her unlock her potential over the years, but she has also worked with outside coaches to improve her game.

“I’ve worked with Coach Lucy out of Harris County every offseason since like 8th grade,” Johnson said. “All summer long we work on shooting, dribbling, driving, everything. I’ve definitely gotten better and faster working with her.”

As her senior season nears its end, Johnson looked back on what she enjoyed most about being a Cavalier.

“I love the atmosphere and the energy,” she said. “The fans, the family members really come out and support.”

But the thing she will miss most: her teammates.

Johnson, like many athletes, has pre-game rituals, included listening to Lil Baby and eating her go to pre-game meal from Chick-fil-A.

“I get an eight-count nugget, small fry, and a HI-C, no ice,” she said.

Johnson also participates in the Cavalier track team where she runs the 1600 and 3200-meter races. Last season, she finished third in the region in the 3200-meter race. When her senior basketball season ends, she will be jumping right into her final season running track.

Johnson is more than just an athlete. She’s a member of the National Honor Society and 16Ways foundation, where she helps build beds for people in need and gives out food boxes in the community.

Outside of athletics and community service, Johnson loves playing with her dog, Gunther.

“He’s a pitbull-beagle mix, so he’s kind of short and chubby,” she said.

She also enjoys baking cupcakes and brownies and has turned it into her own business as he sells them in the community.

Johnson looks up to her mother and knows she would not be in this position without her.

“She makes a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to play sports and come to this school,” she said.