HOWELL — At an age when they were just learning the game of basketball, they were already looking well into their futures.
Howell seniors Paige Johnson, Alexis Miller and Leah Weslock knew back in elementary school that they wanted to keep playing the sport in college.
“I remember writing that goal down, probably when I was in third or fourth grade, right there with Lexie and Leah,” Johnson said. “We all thought we were going to play on the same team together. We’re all going to play college basketball, so that’s good.”
Johnson has completed the dream for a trio of players who brought so much success to Howell’s basketball program over the last four seasons, signing with Concordia University in Ann Arbor.
In the fall, Miller signed with Wayne State and Weslock signed with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
“We’re all definitely very different players,” Johnson said. “Basketball-wise, we all fit in differently and we all have different educational goals. We’ll all be in great programs and good hands.”
Basketball is the only sport Johnson has played since elementary school.
“It’s kind of a family thing, too, following my brother Tyler,” said Johnson, whose brother led Howell into the 2014 state Class A quarterfinals. “His work ethic has definitely worked off on me. He works so hard at what he does. That’s definitely why I am where I am.”
Johnson is one of 12 Howell athletes who were recognized Wednesday in the school’s field house for recently signing national letters of intent.
It’s a field house in which Johnny Shields starred for the basketball team the last three seasons, but in the end, he chose to play college baseball. He is also going to Concordia.
“In the beginning, I was aiming for basketball,” Shields said. “Then toward the end of high school, I started aiming more toward baseball. I love baseball more than basketball. I just grew a bigger passion for it. The past couple summers, I spent more of it playing baseball.”
Shields is one of three Howell baseball players who signed recently. Jake Falzone signed with Kellogg Community College and Jack Rossbach signed with Delta College.
The volleyball, lacrosse and softball teams each had two athletes sign with colleges.
From the volleyball team, Ivy Earl signed with Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, and Olivia Kula signed with Madonna University in Livonia.
The lacrosse team is sending Jack Radzville to Hope College and Max Leventis to Adrian.
From the softball team, Sydney Pezzoni signed with Eastern Kentucky University and Kaitlin Probelski signed with Adrian.
Football player Mike Pelic signed with Adrian, while cross country and track runner Danielle Rineman signed with Albion.