MOORHEAD — Kindred (N.D.) High School is about a half hour drive from the campus of Minnesota State Moorhead and that’s one of the reasons Terryn Johnson has decided to play women’s basketball for the Dragons.
The Vikings senior-to-be recently verbally committed to the Dragons with one season remaining in her prep career.
“The biggest factor was, since I have such good support with my family and community, it was really important for me to be close to home to be able to play for my family,” Johnson said.
Johnson has played on varsity since eighth grade and started for the Vikings since her freshman season. The 6-foot-1 post player is set to join the Dragons for the 2022-2023 season, joining Richland (N.D.) High School guard Megan Roob, who committed to MSUM in May.
Johnson said she used to play on travel basketball teams with Roob. The Region 1 rivals are set to be teammates again in 2022.
“I’ve always joked about how fun it would be to play together and now it’s pretty cool that it's going to happen in the future,” said Johnson, who has scored more than 1,000 points in her prep career.
Johnson, who earned North Dakota Class B second-team, all-state honors as a sophomore, averaged 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds during her junior season. Johnson also received interest from other Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference teams before deciding to commit to the Dragons.
“I really liked MSUM and I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity,” Johnson said. “Going into my senior (high school) season, it’s nice to not have any pressure on me anymore. I know I’m already committed to a great school so now I can just go out and play.”
Johnson said Dragons head coach Karla Nelson and her staff was another reason why she chose MSUM.
“They have a great coaching staff and I know they will push me to be better, which is another thing that is important to me,” Johnson said. “I like to be pushed as a player.”
Even though she’s entering her fifth year as a varsity player for Kindred, Johnson said her prep career has gone by quickly. During her freshman season, Kindred won the 2019 Class B state girls basketball championship. The Vikings have at least advanced to the Region 1 title game every season since Johnson has been a varsity player.
“It feels crazy,” Johnson said. “I remember being an eighth-grader and the upperclassmen talking about how they can’t believe that they’re already graduating and now I can’t believe I’m in their shoes. … I didn’t think it would go this fast. I already have four years done and I only have one left. It really does go in a blink of an eye.”
Johnson also credited Kindred head girls basketball coach Sam Brandt and her teammates throughout her career for helping her develop into a Division II college recruit.
“To get this to this point, I’ve had a lot of great coaches and teammates who have helped me develop,” said Johnson, who also competes in volleyball and track and field for Kindred.