Their careers ran concurrent with remarkably similar success and collegiate rewards.
Clovis West’s Emily Anderson is off to Cal Poly, taking with her a graceful presence, textbook perimeter stroke and ability to score inside.
Hanford High’s Brooke Johnson is going to be a UNLV Rebel — fittingly, for a daring point guard with an almost rebellious court personality.
They are The Fresno Bee’s girls basketball Co-Players of the Year, departing as CIF-Central Section luminaries with near-duplicate résumés as 6-footers with versatile skills:
• Four-year varsity players — and in the section’s premier programs, no less — for teams that went 96-22 (Hanford) and 85-31 (Clovis West).
• Two-year section Division 1 champions — Johnson in 2011 and 2012; Anderson 2013 and 2014.
• Four-year league champions — Johnson going 48-0 in the West Yosemite League; Anderson 37-3 in the Tri-River Athletic Conference.
“Clovis West and Hanford have been the top two programs in the Valley the last eight years,” Clovis West coach Craig Campbell said, “and while Emily and Brooke’s styles are totally different, they both had the same impact for their programs.
“Both kids saw the great players before them in each program and how those players led their teams. Emily and Brooke were able to take the torch of greatness that was passed along to them and write their own, equally great, legacy.”
Anderson’s Eagles have won the past two of 14 section titles at the school since 1990.
“We do what it takes to win,” said Anderson, the athlete groomed in the Clovis West district Little Hoopsters program since kindergarten. “That’s how we were raised.”
So, is that taken for granted?
“No, and it gets me frustrated when people do, going through the motions. I’m not OK with that at all.”
Anderson going through the motions? Uh, no.
“Her growth in her skill set is directly attributed to her offseason work ethic,” Campbell said. “She’s constantly wanting to do individual workouts and continue to grow her game. She is a high-character kid who will be greatly missed for what she has brought to our program, both on and off the court.”
And now to Cal Poly, previously attended by Anderson’s parents, Nick and Jill.
“I’ve grown up around there,” said Anderson, also offered scholarships by Fresno State, Sacramento State and Pacific. “I went there a lot and fell in love with the campus. It was always my dream school.”
Cal Poly announced Anderson’s signing in November.
“Emily Anderson is a 6-foot shooting guard who can stretch the defense with her 3-point ability,” Cal Poly head coach Faith Mimnaugh said in a news release at the time. “She suits the tweener role that many of our team members have had great success performing. We believe with her great work ethic that she will develop into an inside-outside player that creates a real challenge for opponents.”
Anderson goes to Cal Poly as the seventh-leading career scorer (1,227) and third-leading 3-point shooter (169) in Clovis West history.
Anderson’s four Eagles teams went 85-31, including 50-10 with Division 1 championships the past two seasons, and four league titles.
“Emily has developed into one of the top scorers in the section and state the last two years,” Campbell said. “But she has become much more than just a shooter, improving as a slasher and post-up game. She has put in as much time on her game as any player I have had in 20 years.”
Tribune staff contributed to this report.