MILWAUKEE – Lauren Thomas-Johnson, an incoming Kirkwood Community college transfer on the Marquette women’s basketball team, is bound for Beijing, China for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. She will serve as an athlete ambassador for the British Basketball Federation.
Thomas-Johnson, a native of Manchester, England, was one of five male and female athletes chosen to represent Great Britain in Beijing as the nation prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. While in Beijing, the British contingent will immerse itself in the Olympic lifestyle during the Games. Thomas-Johnson along with her fellow ambassadors will have access to the athletes’ village and different athletic venues around Beijing, along with going to the Opening Ceremonies and basketball games.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Thomas-Johnson. “I am just honoroed to be selected to go knowing how many others in England would love to have this opportunity. I want to get as much as I can out of this experience because hopefully by 2012 I will be competing in the Olympics.”
Thomas-Johnson, who expects to earn a spot on Great Britain’s senior national team over the next four years, helped the Great Britain U20 team collect a bronze medal at the 2007 European Championship. It was the first medal ever won by a British basketball team in international competition.
Great Britain’s senior national team did not qualify for the 2008 Olympics, but automatically qualifies for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London since it is the host nation.
Thomas-Johnson was part of the Kirkwood Eagles Women’s Basketball program from 2006-08 and key to Kirkwood’s back-to-back NJCAA Division II national championships.