‘Our team is also our family’: Good Hope’ Charly Johnson excited for junior season

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Good Hope’s Charly Johnson. (Martha Needham/The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – In this interview, I talked to Good Hope basketball player Charly Johnson. Charly has now been a part of back-to-back Elite Eight appearances with the Lady Raiders and she feels blessed to be a part of that journey with this team.

“The experience was good, and we had a lot of laughs with the team. I was happy we made it back last season, but I believe that we could’ve made it further. That’s in the past and this season, we will make it even further,” she said. “I learned that if you don’t come ready to play and want it, it’s going to come down to the wire. You have to have a good mindset through it all and be ready to battle because the other teams are not just going to give it to you. You are going to have to earn it no matter what.”

Charly learned a lot from last year’s seniors and that will definitely help out this year’s team.

“Those seniors were a great group of girls. They were happy, uplifting, and just so much fun to play with and just to talk to.  They just always had your back if you needed anything and that was just a great year with great leaders. I learned a lot from them, and they showed me that even if you’re playing or not, you can be a leader in many ways than just one. They just taught us how to become leaders and I feel like because of them, we are going to have some great leaders this upcoming season.”

Almost everyone will be back from last season and Charly believes that this team can have a special year and make that trip to Birmingham. She has soaked up so much from head coach Justin Aby and assistant coach Natasha Holder.

“This team is so talented, and I feel like we just have to be ready for anything and everything. We are such a great team together and I feel like making it to Birmingham will be tough, but we can do it. We just need to have the right mindset and stay together as a team and keep putting in the work in that we need to get better,” she said. “Coach Aby and coach Holder have been very good coaches. They are always there for you, and they want you to do your best. They have taught me that you have to be wanting to take one for the team because our team is also our family. Being there for each other is what we need to do to keep that growth of girls growing for the upcoming season.”

Charly has been teaching the younger players a lot and worked on a lot in the summer. She also talked about the summer play-day games and how they went.

“I feel like I have been teaching them how to be yourself and just play your role on the court. If everyone plays their roles, it will all come together. I’m hoping that I have been showing them how to be a leader and that when someone gets down or does something wrong, I’m showing them how to uplift each other and how to stay positive through it all,” she said. “I worked a lot on post moves and how I could get the ball moving down low.”

She added,

“I feel like this summer went very good. We won a lot of games against some very good teams. I feel like our chemistry with the team over the summer was very good while playing and I feel like this is going to be a great season. I learned that we are very good at running the floor this year and we are going to be a very fast team like last year. Also, I feel like our team chemistry was great towards each other and we are just a good team and family. I feel like that will help us grow.”

Charly has set some goals for herself, and the team and she feels like this season will be very special for the Lady Raiders.

“My goals are to win state and that is also a very big team that we have had the past couple of years now, but I feel like it’s bigger this year than ever. I also want to win area and county this year and I feel like we have the potential to do so,” she said. “What will make this team so special to watch this season is the chemistry we have with each other and just the way we play, sharing the basketball and just getting everyone involved and also our quickness. It’s just so fun and uplifting. I just think that’s what everyone loves to watch.”