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Gena Johnson returns to the court Saturday

Nov 5, 2014

Redshirt senior guard Gena Johnson will return to the court on Saturday as the Pacific women's basketball team faces San Francisco State in an exhibition at 4:30 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center.

Johnson suffered multiple broken bones in her legs, ankles and hips in a head-on collision on Highway 113 near Dixon on Friday, June 28, 2013. After multiple surgeries, Johnson began the long, hard road to recovery.

After learning to write with her opposite hand to maintain her academic standing, Johnson progressed from a wheelchair to walking on her own, and was a presence at Pacific's team practices last year as she rehabbed her injuries. During games, Johnson sat on the bench with the Tigers' coaches, offering guidance and support to her teammates.

Cleared this fall, Johnson has been practicing with the team in anticipation of returning to the court.

"Her story is unbelievable," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "A year ago, she was in a wheelchair. It has been 16 months of intense rehab. Her work, and her progress... It was a slow process for her, because it was so gradual. But I can't tell you how proud I am of her. She's going to get to play, she will have a role on our team. She's an inspiration to her teammates by being out there every day, no excuses. And that's a great testament to her competitiveness and love of the game."

Johnson earned Second Team All-Big West honors during her junior year in 2012-13, averaging 12.0 points and 2.7 assists per game. She shot .428 from the field for the season, while averaging a block per game. She became the 19th Pacific player to reach 1,000 career points in the third round of the WNIT against Utah, leading the Tigers with 13 points in 60-55 overtime loss. Johnson's 27 points against UALR led the Tigers to a first round win in the WNIT. She was an All-Big West Honorable Mention and Big West All-Freshman Team selection in 2010-11 and ranks third on the Tigers' all-time blocked shots list with 101.

The Pacific women's basketball team was tabbed fourth in the West Coast Conference preseason poll of the leagues coaches, after last season's 12-6 record in their inaugural season in the conference to place third. The Tigers finished 18-13 overall with their third-straight WNIT appearance. Senior Kendall Kenyon was named to the preseason All-Conference team as four of the top five scorers from last season are back: Kenyon (15.9 points per game), Madison Parrish (10.8 PPG), Hailie Eackles (9.1 PPG), and Erin Butler (7.1 PPG).

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