Episode #9: Joey Johnson
September 20, 2020
Joey Johnson has played wheelchair basketball for Canada at the Paralympic Games five times and has 3 gold medals and 1 silver from those competitions. For 20 years he competed at the highest level and was in love with the sport. Initially though, basketball and Joey were not friends. He hated basketball. He did not like the game and did not want to play. A diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease before the age of 10 changed his life and ultimately his relationship with basketball. Joey’s parents enrolled him in a youth program offered by Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association and this program exposed Joey to a wide range of sport activities in an adapted form. It was through this program he was exposed again to basketball and found that he loved it.
Joey would go on to play in the NCAA, to play professionally in Australia and Europe and, as noted above to win gold medals at the Paralympic Games. Now retired from playing, Joey is transferring his wealth of experience to the next generation of players in his role as a national team coach. His story speaks to the power of family, the knowledge that there is always an opportunity to win and an understanding of the hours of work it takes to achieve success at the highest level (i.e., the work one does when no one is watching).
Please enjoy our conversation with Joey Johnson.
“I love sport and I feel it is essential for everyone to be part of it.”