EDINBURG – When it comes to intensity at practice, Megan Johnson usually sets the tone in that department.
“One thing about Megan, she’s going to give you 110 percent every play,” said UTRGV women’s basketball coach Larry Tidwell.
Sometimes going full throttle has a bump in the road. On the first day of practice this season, Johnson and Laura Van Tilburg were going up for a rebound when they collided.
“Someone got pushed in the back and the back of my head smacked her nose and broke her nose,” said Johnson.
“I knew it was just basketball and we just kind of shook it off and she even baked me a cake so it was all good,” said Van Tilburg.
As fate would have it, months later the two collided again. On this time, Johnson’s nose broke. Again, no bad blood, just a mutual respect for their love of the game.
“It’s never a good reaction to get mad at a teammate,” said Johnson. “No one ever goes on the court and purposely tries to hurt anybody. It’s kind of funny that I broke her nose and then she broke my nose.”
Van Tilburg and Johnson grew up about nine thousand miles away from each other. Van Tilburg from the Valley, a Weslaco Native while Johnson traveled across the Atlantic from Newcastle, Australia. Since arriving, Johnson says Van Tilburg has helped her feel right at home.
“Came from the other side of the world so it was kind of daunting and you know having Laura and the other older girls here was really helpful,” said Johnson.
“Immediately from the first day we’ve never had any problems,” said Van Tilburg. “We’ve always been good friends. I could go to her for anything and she can go to me for anything so we just mesh really well.”
Johnson now wears a mask on the court. For the two players, it’s just another story they can share down the road.