Ex-Foss hoops player back to lead Falcons

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comMay 10, 2014 

Few athletes have exemplified the “Foss Falcons spirit” better than former standout basketball player Shaunt’e Nance-Johnson.

That is why she continued to hold out for her dream coaching job, returning to her alma mater.

Nance-Johnson, 27, was hired last week to replace Jeff Ptolemy, who spent five seasons as the Falcons’ girls basketball coach.

“I’ve told people for years, I won’t coach at another place,” Nance-Johnson said. “It is full circle for me. It’s so awesome, and I am so proud to be a Falcon.”

Nance-Johnson was an energetic, quick-footed point guard for the Falcons. She was the Narrows League Bay Division co-most valuable player and The News Tribune’s All-Area Player of the Year in 2005.

She went to Northwest Nazarene University in Idaho for one season, then transferred to Yakima Valley Community College with her then-boyfriend, now-husband Anthony Johnson, who played basketball at Stadium High School.

They each played two seasons at the University of Montana, then became the first husband-wife tandem to be drafted by a professional organization — the Harlem Globetrotters.

They did not sign with the Globetrotters. Instead, Nance-Johnson played overseas in Greece and Cyprus for 18 months before the couple came back to Tacoma.

Last season, Nance-Johnson was an assistant for the Tacoma Community College women’s basketball team under Dan Kriley.

She inherits a Foss program that has won 10 games in the past five seasons and has not made it to the district tournament since 2008.

“Once we bring that spirit back, and bring in some fun and energy — that is who I am — that will spark what goes on not only on the court, but off the court as well,” Nance-Johnson said. “That will be my job.”

REED TAKES OVER MOUNT TAHOMA BOYS

Kenyattah Reed, a longtime assistant at Federal Way High School, was hired as Mount Tahoma’s boys basketball coach, replacing Owen Chambers.

Reed spent 17 seasons with the Eagles under coach Jerome Collins and was part of the 2009 state title-winning team.

WEST COAST ALL-STAR CLASSIC TO BELLEVUE

Another weekend, another all-star basketball game to take in.

This time, 24 of the best seniors in the country will play in the West Coast All-Star Classic on Sunday at Bellevue College.

Participants include Lincoln’s Ahmaad Rorie, Jackson’s Jason Todd, Bothell’s Josh Martin, Garfield’s Tramaine Isabell and Rainier Beach’s Shaqquan Aaron and Djuan Piper.

The game will tip off at 6 p.m. and can be heard on 950-AM.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com @ManyHatsMilles

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