By Tom Robinson, NEPA Elite News
Trinity Johnson started out seeking a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I or II basketball opportunity.
Johnson wound up choosing a Division III program that she says operates like it’s on a higher level.
The NEPA Elite Clark 17U and Wyoming Valley West center committed to the University of Rochester in late September to study as a pre-med student and play basketball.
“They have a speed and conditioning coach; they have a sports psychologist; they have a nutritionist that works very closely with the team,” Johnson said. “That was a big interest for me because I know a lot of Division III’s don’t have that.”
Johnson also liked the academic fit.
“Rochester was a very good fit because it was a very high academic school, being ranked top 30 in the country,” Johnson said in an interview this week while preparing to open her senior season Saturday afternoon when the Lady Spartans host the Mike Duda Tournament. “It was definitely something that I wanted going into pre-med.”
When the basketball program also matched her needs, Johnson chose Rochester over Seton Hill and D’Youville to which she had made unofficial visits.
“Before talking to them, I was kind of set on playing Division I or II,” Johnson said. “I never really looked into playing Division III, then once I started talking to them, it really changed my perspective on opportunities.”
Johnson spent her second straight year with the NEPA Elite AAU team. She said she first heard from Rochester last fall between AAU and high school seasons. During the summer, she helped the NEPA Elite Clark team win its second straight Hoop Group Showcase League title.
At Wyoming Valley West, Johnson is entering her fourth season as a starter.
Johnson was a first-team Wyoming Valley Conference Division I all-star choice by NEPABasketball.com last season. She was a second-team division all-star as a freshman and sophomore.
Rochester, a member of the University Athletic Association, is off to a 7-3 start after going 5-1 in the shortened 2020-21 season.