Dallas volleyball star and singer Juliann Johnson has signed on to play in Japan for the Kurobe Aqua Fairies as she continues to train for a chance to play in the 2020 Summer Olympics that will take place in Tokyo.
Johnson, the 6-foot, 2-inch-San Diego native, now Rowlett resident, has traveled the world playing for teams in France and Italy. In Dallas, she has become a highly sought-after coach and trainer for students wanting to learn from the world-class athlete.
“To say I’m excited would be an understatement,” said Johnson, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and who released her debut EP “Complete” earlier this year. “Playing in Japan has always been a dream of mine, especially since the 2020 Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo. I’ve heard such great things about the people, the culture and the beautiful country of Japan.”
At a recent press conference at the team’s facilities located just outside of Tokyo, the Aqua Fairies introduced Johnson, known for her great power and athleticism, who will be wearing the number 18 on her jersey. “I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to experience living here,” Johnson added. “The level of play is also very high and super competitive, which is something that I look for when choosing where to play next. This is truly a dream come true for me. “
Johnson’s has been gaining national attention on the volleyball court, since her days at UT where was named NCAA Freshman of the Year in 2007, and later as UT’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2010. Johnson has been a member of the USA National Team, Johnson has participated in many tournaments including World Grand Prix, Pan American Cup, and the Montreaux Masters. As a member of the top-rated Racing Club de Cannes in France in 2014-2015, Johnson won her first professional championship.
While playing in Italy during her second professional season, her love of music kicked into a new gear. As a child, Johnson had played the violin, and sang in choirs. It wasn’t until an Italian fan noticed some of Johnson’s singing performances on YouTube. That’s when Johnson’s fans couldn’t resist: They asked her to sing Alicia Key’s “Girl on Fire” at a halftime show. Her teammates and the Italian fans fell in love with her. A local group, Italian Job, and its music producer pulled her into the studio, and that laid the groundwork for her album, Complete.