This season we only got to see a glimpse of how good Stella Johnson is. The rookie showed promise as she transitioned from college basketball to the WNBA and proved to fit quite well into the Mystics’ offense. Just as she was starting to warm up, her season was cut short after five games, when she sustained a left ankle injury.
Before she landed with the Mystics, the guard was drafted in April by the Phoenix Mercury with the 29th pick. Before she was selected, Johnson led the NCAA in points per game with 24.8 and points (745) in her final season at Rider University. She concluded her collegiate career as the only active Division-1 player with 2,000 career points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, and 300 steals.
Before the start of the WNBA season, the rookie was waived by Phoenix and then she signed with the Chicago Sky late June. Johnson appeared in four games, only playing one or two minutes in each and posting zero points, before she was waived on Aug. 12.
A day later, Washington signed Johnson. The 22-year-old had a much better start with her new team than she did with Chicago. In her five games with Washington she averaged 18.8 minutes, 9.3 points, 2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. The guard took 6.6 field goals per game, going 48.5% from the field while attempting 2.8 3-pointers, going 64.3 from beyond the arc. The numbers are not bad for a rookie, especially after all of her movement with teams. It looked like she needed the right opportunity and that was with the Mystics.
Johnson’s most notable game was in August when the Mystics faced the Atlanta Dream, where she scored a team-high and career-high 25 points. What was even more impressive was that Johnson went 6-of-9 from downtown and she shot 8-of-13 overall. In her team’s 98-91 victory the guard added 3 assists and 3 rebounds.
Despite playing in just five games for the Mystics, Johnson was 6th in scoring for the team.
Looking ahead to the 2021 season, it will be interesting to her find her way when the Mystics have their full roster. Johnson will certainly be able to learn from Champion veterans and continue building upon this past season. Johnson already showed an abundance of perseverance this year and it’s evident that the young guard still has levels to unlock.