This story first appeared in The Olivetian, Issue One, 2011. We reprint it here in honor of Devin’s recently receiving the 2013 Maggie Sloan Crawford Award for outstanding female graduate.
Dribbling a soccer ball is much different than dribbling a basketball, but both come easily to Devin Johnston ’13
of Bloomingdale, Ill. This energetic Olivet student plays stopper on the women’s soccer team and forward on the women’s basketball team. Quite an athletic feat!
Her sports participation at Olivet has already taken Devin across the Atlantic and Pacific.
In summer 2010, she and the women’s soccer team visited Nairobi and Mombasa in Kenya. “I loved meeting the African people,” Devin says. “They are so positive and friendly. We visited Kibera, one of the largest slums in the world. The people there have so little, but they are so happy and positive.”
“They love playing soccer,” she continues. “So we dribbled the ball through cones with them. Then we talked about how that is like getting through the trials of life. We related soccer to the Bible.”
In December 2010, Devin traveled with the women’s basketball team to Honolulu for the NAIA Hoop N Surf Classic tournament. The team played two of their best games of the -season, winning one by 29 points and the other by 46.
She also experienced the beauty of Hawaii for the first time. “I’m the unofficial photographer for our team,” she says. “I took tons of photos of everything we saw. Pearl Harbor, the ocean, the sights on the island of Oahu.”
Devin’s desire to play both soccer and basketball greatly influenced her decision to come to Olivet. “I played with both teams before I came here,” Devin says. “The coaching staff really impressed me, along with the welcoming atmosphere.” She was also impressed by the quality of the coaching staff and the Christian basis for everything that happens here.
After a few weeks at Olivet, Devin declared her major of math education. One of her dreams is to teach outside the U.S. She is also involved in Best Buddies and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. For relaxation, she likes to play the piano. And all this while maintaining a 3.9 grade point average!
Devin’s family members are her greatest encouragers in pursuing the plans that God is revealing to her.
“My parents come to every game, even when we travel,” Devin says. “My dad helps me with my basketball skills.
“My two older sisters, Dennea and Danielle ’10, have always been a huge inspiration to me in athletics. Their hard work, dedication, passion, positive attitudes and competitive drive inspire and encourage me. I’m so blessed to have them.” Devin and Danielle played soccer together at Olivet during Danielle’s senior year.
Devin looks forward to finishing her education at Olivet. “Here, I am learning what it really means to have a relationship with Christ,” she says. “Devotions in classes and with our teams, Chapel and my whole life are all focused on Christ.”