GH freshman Strong named Lela Johnson Award winner

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Grand Haven freshman Lauren Strong was named the 2013 recipient of the Lela Johnson Award at the Buccaneers’ basketball banquet on Monday.

The award is presented annually to a Grand Haven girls freshman basketball player who displays the same traits that Lela Johnson possessed — outstanding sportsmanship, academic achievement and a love for the game.

Strong was the leading scorer (108 points) and rebounder (81 boards) for the Buccnaeers’ freshman team this winter.

The award is presented each year in memory of Lela Johnson, who died of a heart attack as a freshman at Grand Haven in April of 2003. Buccaneer varsity coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer described Johnson as a talented, courageous athlete, who found a way to blend her faith with her love of basketball together. She was involved in First Priority, a student-led, non-denominational middle and high school campus outreach ministry.

Lela Johnson was the daughter of Judy Ketner and Jeff and Kathy Johnson.