New Place and New Pace: Glory Johnson

For many, Glory Johnson leaving Dallas was a shocking, yet widely-expected move. As the last player remaining from their days as the Tulsa Shock, Johnson was leaving a franchise that she’s been with since her professional career began in 2012.

Known for her defense and tenacious rebounding, the two-time WNBA All-Star was ready to start a new chapter with the Atlanta Dream.

While this condensed season may not have gotten off to the best start for Coach Nicki Collen’s team, there’s been no shortage of impressive performances. A few injuries and medical setbacks experienced early have largely contributed to its 2-9 record. However, at full-strength, Atlanta could be a team that contends.

In a recent interview, I had the opportunity to speak with Johnson about her new change of scenery and what she brings to the new-look Dream roster.

BD: You’re starting this new chapter, what made you choose the Dream?

GJ: Atlanta is the closest place and team to home. I played collegiately in Knoxville at UT. I like to be close to home so I can be near my family. I have two baby girls, my family is so important. They help me raise the girls so I rely heavily on them. I don’t want to take them too far away and have them not be able to watch as they grow up.

BD: Yes. You have your twin girls. What is it like being in the “wubble” away from your children?

GJ: Being away is super tough. This would typically be the most time that I’d get to spend w/ my kids as they’re always here with me during the entire WNBA season and they leave once I go overseas. If I were to go overseas next season, I wouldn’t get that five or six months with them, which allows them to see me play. This is probably the most uncomfortable thing about being in the bubble as it’s tough that I’m away from my children as a mom. However, it’s better that they stay quarantined at home than be exposed to anything here.

BD: You and (Shekinna) Stricklen are on the same team again. Who made their decision first and what is it like playing with your old college teammate?

GJ: I made the decision first, and the Coach was also looking to get Shekinna. She told me to put in a good word, and I did. We talked about it, and she ended up signing like the next day. Everyone thinks she’s so quiet – she’s NOT! We always have a good time. It’s good that we are able to work both on and off the court very well.

BD: You’re known for your defense and your rebounding. Has that type of extra effort always been a focus for you?

GJ: Offense, for me, came second. Pat Summitt instilled something completely different for us. It was either defense or nothing. Most of the focus of my college career was on defense and rebounding. That was where my heart was. If you want to show people that you have heart, focus on doing the little things that nobody wants to do. People may not pay attention to it, but it makes the game. *insert laughs* Sometimes I run into my teammates when I go for the board. I can’t be sure that you have the rebound, but I can make sure that I do.

BD: You have yourself, Courtney Williams, and Chennedy Carter. You are all players known for your passion. How will that energy and emotion translate on the court?

GJ: When you have players that are capable of giving teams a fit – and we’re that scrappy team – it could instill a little fear in other teams. We’ll put up a fight and the game can go either way. We play to the end and that’s in a win or loss.

BD: With quite a few young players on the Dream roster, what’s your leadership style?

GJ: I’m the type that leads by example. If I’m not going to do something, I won’t ask someone else to do it. When either spreading the court or crashing the boards, I’ll show you by doing versus telling. If I see you’re tired, I’ll be right there in the gym with you getting extra conditioning in because that will help us both.

BD: We see the emotion on the court, but what’s something about you that many may not know?

GJ: Off the court, I’m super goofy. I’m way more of a mother figure and I really believe in looking out for people. I don’t want to have any rookies go without. I’ll cook and even do some laundry. I’m going to have my teammates’ back no matter what – I’ll ask the questions later because I won’t leave them out to dry.

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BD: What’s something about the Dream that you want people to know?

GJ: We are a team that is still working and learning each other. Everyone’s had several setbacks from opt-outs to coronavirus to injuries and more. Be ready for us when we click, because it’ll be something crazy!

BD: You spoke earlier about being a Lady Vol. Before going, what’s something you’d like to say to that fanbase?

GJ: Thank you for all the support. It doesn’t really matter where we go or what team we’re playing for, you’re right there supporting us. Even for some that didn’t played all four years, Lady Vol fans are always supportive to players and coaches. Thanks for all the love and keep watching.

BD: Awesome. Appreciate your time, Glory. I’ll be looking forward to the rest of the season.

GJ: Thank you!

The Dream are currently without rookie guard Chennedy Carter for an estimated two weeks due to an ankle injury. As the team looks to change its course and compete for a playoff spot heading into the second half of the season, Johnson’s veteran leadership will and should play a big role.

Tune in as the Dream will face the Washington Mystics on Wednesday, August 19 at 7 PM live on CBS Sports.

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