LINCOLN–(KFOR Sept. 20)–Dominique Kelley-Johnson set records at Lincoln Northeast, while helping the Rockets achieve success in girls basketball, and later went on to have a stellar career on the college level at Nebraska.
The Lincoln High girls basketball coach will be among 12 athletes to be honored this Sunday afternoon as part of this year’s induction class into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. Kelley-Johnson and the other honorees will be recognized at the Lincoln East High School Auditorium beginning at 1:30pm Sunday. Tickets are available by clicking this link: Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame tickets. Northeast’s 1998 Class A boys state championship basketball team, the fourth of the Rockets’ consecutive state titles in the 1990s and 12th in school history, will also be recognized.
As an athlete, Kelley-Johnson helped guide Northeast to a 70-3 record in girls basketball, including the program’s first Class A girls state basketball championship in 2005 that also included a 48-game win streak, which ended in the 2006 state title game. The Rockets made the state tournament in 2007, Kelley-Johnson’s senior year. She scored 1,535 career points at Northeast.
Kelley-Johnson says after receiving word of her pending induction, her reaction was humble and modest.
“I just didn’t really feel like I belonged there,” she told KFOR Sports in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Super humbled and thankful for the opportunity to join such an elite group of people.
Kelley-Johnson was an All-State selection, Nebraska’s Gatorade Player of the Year and earned other accolades before she continued her basketball career at Nebraska, where she started in 109 consecutive games finished with more than 1,100 career points.
But looking back on her playing days at Northeast, it not just the championship and individual success that stand out to Kelley-Johnson.
“The people I got to do it with and how those relationships and friendships have kind of evolved from youth sports days to high school,” Kelley-Johnson added.
As for her coaching the Lincoln High girls varsity basketball team, Kelley-Johnson said it’s taken a lot of hard work to turn it around.
“The high school level for me, from a coaching standpoint, has made sense because I get to help kids who are kind of at this really vulnerable point in life,” she said while crediting her high school coach Rich Olson and Sandi Genrich, who was Northeast’s longtime volleyball coach and a mentor. “I feel like I’m just constantly able to give that gift back to other young people and see them kind of change the trajectory of their lives. It’s been super rewarding.”
While handling her teaching and coaching jobs, Kelley-Johnson said the most important role in her life is being a mother.
“The most humbling and rewarding thing I do is getting up and being a mom everyday,” she added.
Below are the list of other inductees that will join Kelley-Johnson as part of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2022.