Crockett ISD Tocarra Johnson to Play for Blinn College
By Greg Ritchie
CROCKETT – At a signing ceremony in the Crockett Independent School District (CISD) high school, Crockett Senior Tocarra Johnson signed the official paperwork to play basketball for Blinn College, surrounded by family, teammates, coaches and friends.
Blinn College is a junior college located in Brenham with about 19,000 students. Johnson and her mother Christiana Parker presented CISD Basketball Coach Tanesiah “Cookie” Johnson with a going-away gift to thank her for all she has done for this remarkable young athlete.
Parker posed with all four of her daughters – all of which studied at Crockett and all coached by Coach Johnson. She said the news was surprising, but she knew Tocarra was playing at the right level to get noticed.
“I didn’t expect it but I knew at the rate she was going and what she was doing – I did see light at the end of the tunnel,” Parker said. “And Coach Johnson is amazing. She has worked with all my girls and she got to the last one and we conquered!”
Tocarra herself, no stranger to The Messenger as we interviewed her at the start of the current school year, was quiet and thoughtful but with a new confidence. She said Coach Johnson never lost faith in her.
“I really thought I wasn’t going to go to the next level but doors open unexpectedly,” Tocarra said. “And I knew my coach was trying her hardest to get me in the door. And when I see her doing it, I just feel like maybe I have a chance.”
Coach Johnson was able to coach and mentor the young lady all four years of her high school career, with Tocarra playing at the varsity level beginning her sophomore year. Leading the team in rebounds with an average of 20 per game, Tocarra also led the squad in scoring with a career high against one district opponent of 42 points.
“Coach bought me all the way from the bottom – from not knowing the fundamentals – she brought me all the way from there. She’s an amazing coach to work with and pushes you through everything to get your mind in the right spot to succeed,” Tocarra said.
Coach Johnson saw how at least two different programs were interested but, in the end, Tocarra wanted to be closer to the big loving family and the people who have always supported her.
“I think she’ll do well,” Coach Johnson said. “She has a lot of people looking up to her that she won’t let down. And of course we will continue to support and go watch Tocarra and her team. I try to take the team to college games all the time. Now we actually know someone on the court!”
Blinn isn’t too far from Crockett, although for Tocarra it might feel that way until she gets her bearings in her new school.
“I’m ready but I know once I get there I’m probably gonna be homesick because I’m going to be on my own,” Tocarra concluded. “I’m ready but I’m scared at the same time because I’ve never really been on my own.”
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]