Coach “Stretch” Johnson named to Replace Williams as WCA Head Basketball Coach

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Kashif L. Johnson was named the varsity basketball head coach of Williamsburg Christian Academy in June of 2019 and will begin his tenure coaching in the 2019-2020 basketball season. Johnson replaces prior coach Kenya Williams, who stepped down at the end of last season. Williams led the team the past two seasons.

Coach Johnson, or “Coach Stretch” as he is affectionately called, has had over 20 years of organized basketball experience. Most recently, he spent the past two seasons from 2017-2019 as an assistant under Coach Eric Brown at Hampton High School, with the Crabbers appearing in the State Playoffs in that span. This was a return to coaching at Hampton, as Coach Stretch had formerly coached as the JV Assistant Coach for Hampton High School from 2011-2014 and contributed to a successful record of 41-12. Subsequently, from 2014-2017, Johnson was the assistant coach for Menchville High School’s Varsity Boy’s Basketball Program, and also served as the head coach for Menchville High School’s Junior Varsity Boy’s Basketball Program with a record of 26-15 under legendary coach Ben Moore.

Outside of high school coaching, Johnson is the founder and director of TRIBENation Basketball Academy, a growing nonprofit focused on competitive play, which in just five years has obtained ten tournament championship wins and has had a commanding presence in AAU tournaments. In addition to coaching competitively for the AAU organization, Coach Stretch has also coached FUTURE league teams that have won a stunning three consecutive championships in 2011, 2012, and 2013. He is also registered and licensed as a Basketball Referee with Peninsula Board 125.

Johnson’s love for the game was demonstrated early in his basketball career. He played four years of collegiate basketball, with three years as a starting forward for Averett University (Division III). In 2005, he returned to Averett as a Student Assistant Coach and solidified the start of his coaching career in 2007, when he became the Head Coach for the Newport News YMCA’s travel league team. With stretchan astute eye for talent, Coach Stretch developed twelve high school student-athletes who went on to win 3 championships in four years with an outstanding record. Johnson has become a mainstay for several recreational leagues on the Peninsula and has molded talent at all age groups and levels, from early childhood to elite-level, Division I athletes. Since 2014, he has trained three Player of the Year student-athletes in basketball for the 5A Pen-South Region, over twelve all-conference players in various divisions in VHSL, and countless all-district honors players. With his supportive yet firm coaching style, Coach Stretch has also been the Coordinator of Youth Basketball for the Newport News YMCA since 2010, and has conducted basketball camps and summer leagues for ages 4-17 that focus on skills, drills, conditioning, and weight training.

“Coach Stretch brings years of experience, a great attitude, friendly nature, and a very strong work ethic. He is already bonding nicely with the boys and I really appreciate his ability to get to know each personality and determine what each athlete needs,” Athletic Director Pam Gibbons responded when asked about the primary characteristics of Coach Stretch that made him the easy choice to succeed Williams as Head Coach. “This characteristic will mold in perfectly with the personalized learning and care for each individual that WCA strives for daily! In addition, Coach Stretch has a natural ability to mentor young men and demonstrates his love for Jesus Christ in his interactions on and off the court.”

These characteristics were laid out in fine example by outgoing coach Kenya Williams, and he provides to Johnson a group of players that benefited from his focus on the Lord above all other things and glorifying Him in everything that the team does. On replacing Williams, Gibbons pointed out how Johnson is a great fit from a perspective of continuity in that message, “Filling Coach Williams shoes was sure to be a challenge with his innate nurturing personality, basketball prowess, and faith-driven life, but WCA feels that Coach Johnson is definitely the man for the job. ”

Faith plays a big part in Johnson’s approach and coaching style. “I’ve always been driven by my God-given calling to mentor and guide children and young adults through the game of basketball. This is how I reach people. This is my ministry. As a Christian, I feel my service to the Lord is most effective when I am demonstrating God’s love through mentorship and supporting the next generation. My faith is what inspires me to be a light both on and off the court.” Although he clearly views basketball in the ministry opportunity it provides, he also desires to win with the players that he has as well. “It’s really an exciting time to join the WCA family. I am anticipating a strong performance this season with the growth of our returning players and some new additions. Students and parents can expect new energy and momentum this fall. My primary objective as a coach is to develop a team that wins games, and that’s what I hope to do this year.”

Coach has been busy working with our student-athletes all summer, most recently leading them to a victory in their four-team division bracket at the Old Dominion University Team Camp in Norfolk, VA.

A Newport News, Virginia native, Coach Stretch has two beautiful daughters, Aniya and Skye. When he is not traveling or training, Johnson attends Sunday services and enjoys partnering with local churches for health and fitness-based outreach initiatives.

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