Krystle Johnson has come full circle. A 2001 Hoover High School graduate, Johnson is now the head girls basketball coach at the school. She played basketball at Hoover and then at the University of Alabama. Her passion for the game continued into her professional life. She worked as the assistant JV girls basketball coach for five years at Hoover High School and then took the head coaching position at Huntsville High School in 2012. She accumulated a 98-40 record with four straight regional tournament appearances for a program that had never made it to a regional. Now, she’s back at home and will have her first game as Hoover’s head coach Nov. 8 against Fairfield High School.
Q: How did you get interested in basketball?
A: I became interested in basketball while I was in the sixth grade, primarily because of Shaquille O’Neal. My nickname was Baby Shaq.
Q: What’s your most memorable moment as a basketball player?
A: As a player, my most memorable moment was in 2005 when my team (University of Alabama) almost upset LSU who was the No. 1 team in the nation. I had my career high that game against LSU’s star center, Sylvia Fowles. She went on to be a WNBA All Star, WNBA finals MVP and is currently on the USA Women’s Basketball Olympic team.
Q: How would you describe your coaching style?
A: Honest and strategic. I’m always looking for ways to put my players in the best position to win.
Q: What’s your favorite part about coaching?
A: Impacting the lives of young women! I make it my duty to work on the player and the person.
Q: What do you love about Hoover?
A: Hoover is family! The school made me the person I am today, and I am forever grateful.
Q: What is something not many people know about you?
A: I enjoy singing, but I’m shy.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: Sleep and watch Netflix.
Q: Where are your favorite places to go in Hoover?
A: Olive Garden, Johnny Rockets, Yuki Japanese Steakhouse, Beef O’Brady’s, Walmart and Target.
Q: What are your goals for the Hoover High School girls’ basketball team?
A: The goal every year is to put ourselves in the position to win state.
Q: What would you say to encourage community members to come out and support the team?
A: I remember when I was younger and playing at Hoover and the excitement in the gym was electrifying. The whole city was behind us. and I’d love to see that happen this season.