Devon Johnson-Brown attends Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and starts for the Hudson’s Bay Women’s Basketball Team

An artist.

An athlete.

Or is it first an athlete, then an artist?

“I really think I am getting the best of both worlds,” said Devon Johnson-Brown, photographer, potter and basketball player.

Devon Johnson-Brown represents Hudson’s Bay on the basketball court and attends the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Athlete and artist, she said she had the best of both worlds. Photo by Paul Valence

Junior at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, Johnson-Brown is also a starter on one of Clark County’s top women’s basketball teams, representing Hudson’s Bay.

“I am a very artistic person and I also love sports,” she said. “It was difficult for me to find this combo.”

Until she found VSAA, accepted into this school in the sixth grade.

“In my school, they allow you to really focus on your art form. You get quality time to work on your art. You have smaller classes so the teachers can really focus and help you. I like it so much, ”she said.

VSAA doesn’t offer athleticism, however. Instead, athletes are allowed to compete for their district schools that offer sports.

Johnson-Brown also enjoys being a Hudson’s Bay eagle.

“I can be with several amazing girls who are great at basketball and improve my art in sports as well,” she said.

On Tuesday night, the Eagles improved to 6-2 this season, 4-1 in Class 2A Greater St. Helens League. Johnson-Brown scored his first 3 points of the night and finished with seven points. In this team, she is best known for her defense and determination, one of the unsung heroines, according to coach Michael Rainville.

By day, beyond traditional academics, she excelled in photography and pottery.

“I love taking portraits of my friends and family,” she said. “It’s my favorite part, just capturing emotions.”

She said pottery is relaxing.

“Playing with clay and creating functional plates and pieces that you can actually use, present and give to others… it’s really special,” Johnson-Brown said.

Some examples of the pottery work of Devon Johnson-Brown, an athlete and athlete.  Johnson-Brown is on the Hudson's Bay Women's Basketball Team and works in the visual arts, including photography, at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics.  Photo courtesy of Devon Johnson-Brown
Some examples of the pottery work of Devon Johnson-Brown, an athlete and athlete. Johnson-Brown is on the Hudson’s Bay Women’s Basketball Team and works in the visual arts, including photography, at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Photo courtesy of Devon Johnson-Brown

She was also in the theater – an artist in so many different arenas.

Basketball, however, has always been with her too. She started playing organized ball in third grade, hooked up right away, she said.

It was during the fifth year that she learned about the possibility of going to the VSAA.

The application process takes time. She spent a day at school, going through workshops with theater as well as visual arts. She had to write an essay. And there was an individual interview with a teacher.

“I’m good at public speaking so I wasn’t that nervous,” she said.

Still, it took her a few months to learn that she was accepted.

Johnson-Brown was driving to Spokane for a basketball tournament when his mother heard the news.

“I was super excited. Then I realized that all my friends from elementary school weren’t going to be there. So it’s going to be fun but a little sad, but I was still extremely excited, ”she said.

An athlete at VSAA must have strong communication and prioritization skills in order to conquer demanding and different schedules.

The Hudson’s Bay student-athlete, for example, starts her day at 7:30 am The VSAA students start at 9:35 am Basketball practice begins before the end of the day. VSAA school.

Johnson-Brown leaves her school early these days of practice, but she is in constant communication with her teachers.

“Our teachers also have office hours before school, and there’s ‘Tuesday help’ and ‘Thursday help’. It helps a lot to be able to have these additional resources, ”said Johnson-Brown.

All the planning and practice, as well as the game nights… it all adds up to long hours.

“I do it because I love basketball,” Johnson-Brown said. “I like the girls I play with. It would be weird and a bit out of the routine if I didn’t have to anymore. My daily schedule would be a bit off.

On court, she’s Energy with a capital E, especially when in the zone.

“I feel my heart is beating a bit fast, I’m super happy and I’m very strong. ‘Let’s go! Let’s go! ‘ I’m really bloated, ”she said. “I do a lot of positive physical reinforcement, like high fives. We have the impression of being relaxed but very restless.

An interesting description, eh?

“It’s a state of restless relaxation,” she repeated.

Being in the area as an artist is also an experience.

“Sometimes when you look through the lens of the camera you don’t really see how it’s going to be,” she said of her photography skills. “You see what your eye sees, but not what the lens can quite see. When you get it on the computer and see that sharp, quality image, it’s like, ‘Oh, thank you. I finally did. The people in the photo were with me. It’s just refreshing.

The basketball court is a “safe place to relax and let go of things that might have stressed me out before today,” she said.

“The arts are a way of expressing my inner thoughts without having to communicate verbally. “

Johnson-Brown thrives in both worlds, representing Vancouver School of Arts and Academics and Hudson’s Bay High School.

“I have an inclusive space to work freely and express my creative side without feeling judged,” she said of VSAA. “You have the opportunity to truly be yourself and continue to advance your career in the arts. “

Then, she spends time with her teammates at Hudson’s Bay.

“This school embodies a lot of unity and mutual aid,” she said. “Being part of this community… it’s really a family. “

She will finish this school year and have one more before going to college. She wants to play college basketball and will continue to work in the arts. Interestingly enough, however, she wanted to study in the medical field to become a psychiatrist.

Devon Johnson-Brown is used, after all, to take on new challenges. She wants all younger students to understand that there are options.

“To prospective students who go to VSA, just know that you have plenty of opportunities to pursue whatever you want,” Johnson-Brown said. “And you don’t necessarily have to quit school to pursue any other passions you might have.”

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