Working with Storm a dream job for Renton's Chauntelle Johnson
By ADAM MCFADDEN
Renton Reporter Staff Writer
September 3, 2009 · 3:53 PM
Professional basketball players call her to ask where to eat, she sits on the court at every Seattle Storm game, and she spends every day with professional basketball players.
Not bad for a job.
No doubt Renton’s Chauntelle Johnson may have one of the best jobs around. She is the senior coordinator of community relations for the Seattle Storm.
Countless duties come along with the job, but simply put: When it comes to community appearances and community relations, she’s the one in charge.
Johnson said her job boils down to eight months of planning for four months of execution. During the WNBA offseason, she evaluates the program, works on clinics for players and coaches, plus plans events for the upcoming season.
“I also go and talk at career days,” she added. “I do a lot of career days.”
During the season, she spends more time taking players to appearances and making sure everything goes smoothly.
Just 26 years old, Johnson considers herself lucky to be in the position she’s in. She interned with the Storm and Sonics right out of college and was later hired on full-time.
The job has done a lot to change Johnson’s ideas of professional athletes.
“I was probably a little bit ignorant before I started working here,” she said. “You get this perception that athletes are arrogant, they only want to play for money. It’s the complete opposite.”
The Storm players love basketball, Seattle and the fans, Johnson said. They understand they are blessed and want to share that with others.
Johnson’s first, and only, case of being starstruck happened when she first started and got to work with WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes.
“I don’t know a girl my age that doesn’t know about Sheryl Swoopes from the very first WNBA season,” Johnson said. “It was a little weird taking her places and making sure she knows what’s going on. But that’s where the starstruckness left. I kind of figured out they’re normal people.”
That idea goes a long way to explain why Johnson isn’t interested in autographs or other memorabilia from the Storm players.
“It becomes different when you know them,” Johnson said. “It’d be odd for me to have a picture of a co-worker autographed and hanging in my house.”
So what is the best part about a job full of perks? She gets to sit down on the court for every single game. From that view she can see what really goes on and she’s right in the middle of the action.
“Plus how many people can say that they have Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash on speed dial?”Contact Renton Reporter Staff Writer Adam McFadden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-255-3484.