2. Behind Every Great Man ...
With 65 teams in the tournament and about 15 players per team there are bound to be some amazing personal stories. But you’d be hard pressed to find one better than Montana’s Anthony Johnson.
In 2005, Johnson was done with high school and was a dishwasher. He played basketball in high school but was far from a standout and his grades were sub-par as well. Then, he started dating basketball player, Shaunte Nance. Nance saw the potential Johnson had and decided to transfer closer to home and be closer to Johnson. Yakima Valley Community College came calling and Nance said she would join the team under one condition – they gave Johnson a chance to make the men’s team.
Johnson made the team and the two got married just before the beginning of the basketball season. Johnson flourished with YVCC, averaging 18.3 points per game and shooting 57.6 percent from the field. It wasn’t long before scholarship offers from Division I schools came pouring in.
This time it was Anthony’s chance to return the favor. He wasn’t willing to go to any school that wouldn’t also take his wife. Montana stepped up and accepted them both and Anthony led the Grizzlies in scoring this year and into the Big Sky championship game.
The Grizzlies trailed by 20 points at the half against top-seeded Weber State. That’s when Johnson caught fire. In the second half, he hit 11 of his 15 shots and scored 34 points to lead Montana into the NCAA Tournament. After his performance, Johnson humbly summed it up the situation, "It has been a fairytale. It's worked out so well for the both of us."