Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Small Roots to College Hoops


With several years of college basketball success under his belt, men’s basketball junior Jacob Johnston is determined to contribute to Viking victories and play this season one game at a time.
Johnston is currently one of the Viking’s highest-scoring players. During the Nov. 13 opener, he averaged 15 points against UW LaCrosse and 13 points against Fontbonne in the most recent game. Johnston discovered his passion for basketball in fourth grade. Johnston continued playing while he was a student at Erie High School and said the highlight of his career was when he helped his team win the IHSA 1A Regional Championships in 2013.
Johnston has been familiar with Augustana for his whole life. He used to come to Augustana basketball games. He said that since Augie offered the opportunity to play on a Division III team in an academic environment, he knew the school was the right college choice for him.
“I think the balance here is good,” Johnston said. “That’s important to me, because there’s life after basketball, so you wanna get a good education, too.”
As the 2015-16 season begins, Johnston is excited to be playing for the Vikings. He said that the main difference from last year is that team chemistry is “deeper” than before, and everyone from the starting lineup to the first-year players gets along well. Johnston added that though he and the other tenured players had to set a good example to the incoming first-years, he was impressed with their ability to play the game.
“We all had to step up and be leaders, but there are so many (first-years) that can play, and we’re all really close and get along really well,” Johnston said.
After last season’s devastating loss to UW Stevens Point in the Division III Final Four Championship, Johnston said he and the rest of the Vikings know that the road back to the Final Four  is long and will be filled with day-to-day work. But Johnston said he’s highly motivated.
“I’m gonna keep coming every day, working hard, pushing myself and my teammates,” Johnston said. “Getting second in the last game of the season hurt pretty bad. Our motivation is to get back to the Final Four. We feel like we have unfinished business.”
Johnston said he feels ready to play a tough non-conference schedule this season against many ranked teams. But by confidently playing “one game at a time” as the team did during last season,  Johnston said the Vikings stand a great chance for victory and success.
“We don’t want to look too far ahead, but if we play how we know we can play, then there’s no way  you can beat us.” Johnston said.

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Small Roots to College Hoops