In just her second collegiate season in 2017-18, Ashland University sophomore guard Jodi Johnson quickly became one of the best women's basketball players in NCAA Division II – and, in some circles, was considered the best.
On Wednesday (March 28), Johnson was named the basketball nominee for the 2018 Honda Division II Woman Athlete of the Year award. That coming on the heels of being named the country's Player of the Year by both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA).
"It is a tremendous honor to be nominated for this award," Johnson said. "As I've been saying all year, I played on the best team in the country with the best teammates in the country. Consideration for awards like this can only happen when you are surrounded by great people in such a great program.
"I am truly grateful."
Johnson, who also was the 2017-18 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, recorded arguably the best season for any guard in program history. She averaged 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.7 steals per game, while shooting 60.3 percent from the field, a school-record 58.1 percent from 3-point range and 84.8 percent from the free-throw line.
Her 691 points are third-most in Ashland women's basketball history, and her 137 steals and 167 free throws made both far and away are the Eagle single-season record. Johnson led D-II in both total steals and steals per game (3.73).
Said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, "Jodi had an outstanding season. She is fearless and competitive, and impacted the game in every possible way. She was instrumental in our team's success."
Presented each year since 1988, the Honda Division II Woman Athlete of the Year award has been won by an individual two times only twice in 30 years. One of those individuals to earn the award twice was former Eagle and current associate head coach Kari (Daugherty) Pickens in 2012 and 2013.
The Honda Division II Woman Athlete of the Year award is given to the nation's top collegiate female athlete, chosen from 11 different sports, with each having one nominee derived from coaches' panels, All-America committees or finish at the respective national championship. Sports include basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.