The future looked bright for UTA women's basketball when Cierra Johnson began her freshman year. She was part of a No. 1-ranked signing class, and analysts said it was likely that the team would make a run at the Sun Belt Conference title. Indeed, when Johnson's senior year came, the team was picked No. 1 in the preseason polls. She was the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Three games into the season, Johnson was on fire in the first quarter at UT San Antonio. She poured in 11 points and appeared unstoppable. But as she tried to come up with another steal, a Roadrunner knocked into her, ending her season with a knee injury. The team would finish the season third in the Sun Belt Conference.
Declared eligible for a medical redshirt season, Johnson will step onto the court again in 2018-19, ready to make another run at the conference title. She is on pace to shatter UTA's and the Sun Belt Conference's all-time steals records, and she will have a go at becoming the 19th player in program history to join the 1,000-point club.
This year the No. 1-ranked signing class featuring two state champions, two state semifinalists, and a state tournament MVP will join Johnson in the quest for the title.