Johanna Teder; student, baller, warrior

Johanna Teder has accomplished a lot and overcome more



WSU guard Johanna Teder high-fives fans after an NCAA collegiate basketball game against UW, Friday, Jan. 29, in Beasley Coliseum.

LUKE WESTFALL, Evergreen sports co-editor

Johanna Teder’s journey is one that has taken her cross-continental and cross-country.

Teder was born and raised in Tartu, Estonia. She started going to basketball practices at 7 years old when she started middle school. Her commitment to the game came nine years later when she was 16 in high school, she said.

Two months into public high school, Teder decided to take basketball seriously. She transferred to a private sports school for athletes, where she played for three years, she said.

She had committed to play at University of San Francisco in 2018, but had eligibility issues, leading to her going the junior college route instead, she said.

She found a new home at South Plains Community College in Levelland, Texas. The stay was short as she decided to transfer after just one season after being named an All-Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) First-Team Selection.

When she got to SPCC, she started to shoot more, and through reassurance from her peers, she started to believe she could be a division one player, she said.

Now she finds herself three years in at WSU, going into a fourth, having gone from taking barely any threes in high school, to 69.7% of her shots last season coming from beyond the arc.

The transfer process for Teder coming to WSU was “not ideal,” she said. It happened during the lockdown in 2020, which led to several complications.

“I had some complications with my eligibility and transcripts and stuff. So I got recruited in like three weeks over Zoom,” Teder said. “It was really difficult. I was talking to people but I really didn’t know them. I didn’t see any campuses I just went based on videos and photos and just trusted what the coaches were telling me.”

When she finally stepped foot on the WSU campus, she was scared, but everyone was very welcoming and helped her have a good first experience, she said.

While they may be far away, Teder still is connected to her family back home. Being the youngest of three kids, she said she was mostly *more -TD connected to her dog than her siblings, but they still are very close.

“We still call each other once in a while. I’m an auntie and my brother and sister both have kids so I’m the cool one who always comes home and plays with them in the summer, I love my fam,” she said. “They always call me and watch the games. Family support is always the best.”

She looked up to her mom because of what she did raising Teder and her siblings as a single mother, Teder said.

Teder fit in pretty much right away, both on and off the court, said junior WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker.

“She’s very empathetic towards people, you’ve probably heard she can be very sensitive and if she sees someone crying she will cry with them, she’s just that type of person. She’s not only a great teammate, but just a great person in general,” Leger-Walker said.

Off the court, Leger-Walker said, they like to have group karaoke sessions, bonfires, brunches and watch movies. Teder’s house is like her second home. They do each other’s lashes because Teder is into beauty stuff and they do homework and study and chill too.

WSU guard Johanna Teder (left) and WSU guard Charlisse Leger-Walker (right) pose together after winning an NCAA women’s basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Teder in her free time enjoys cooking and graphic design, she said. She is really into art and wishes she could have more free time to work on it and also try out new recipes.

Her love of cooking has made her really picky when it comes to eating and cooking, she said. She likes to eat healthy, mostly basic chicken, rice and vegetables, but she likes to try and spice it up as well.

On the court she is not much different from off it, Leger-Walker said. Teder is vocal when she needs to be and while you might not be able to hear her from the sideline, she has a fire in her that resonates with the team.

“She’ll tell someone straight up if they’re doing something wrong or if she doesn’t like something that’s happening. She’s also very encouraging. She’s always in people’s ears just quietly telling they’re doing a good job,” she said. “If you watch her play, she’s always just hustling so hard and throwing her body all around the court.”

One example of this was when Teder went on an individual 7-0 run taking three shots in about 48 seconds, Feb. 17 against the Oregon Ducks.

WSU guard Johanna Teder goes up for a lay up during an NCAA women’s basketball game against Oregon, Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, in Pullman, Wash.

Teder has been an integral piece to the WSU women’s basketball team’s success over the last three seasons as one of the team’s key leaders, distributors and shooters. But her success on the court has come at the expense of her own body.

“My legs, I’ve been struggling and I didn’t really practice much this year. I’m actually surprised that I was even able to play. There were a lot of moments I wanted to give up. It’s not ideal to play this way and I was kind of sad that I couldn’t give my max, but I gave my best,” Teder said.

Her mental toughness, despite the adversity she faces, is one of her biggest strengths, Leger-Walker said. The team knows how much she is willing to give for the sake of the team.

“A lot of people don’t know what she’s going through they only see that she’s not playing as much,” Leger-Walker said. “She always brings energy to the gym, it’s a huge, huge credit to her and it’s not only taking a toll on her physically but mentally. When we come into the gym and we’re like ‘oh my god I don’t want to train today because I’m sore,’ I’m looking at Jo (Johanna) and what she’s dealing with, I can’t even imagine what she goes through, she’s super tough, super competitive.”

Despite being hampered by injuries, Teder has accomplished a lot at WSU. Beyond WSU however, she wants to play professionally, she said.

She is graduating with a Digital Technology and Culture degree and she wants to build up a portfolio and find professional opportunities there as well.

WSU guard Johanna Teder drives toward the hoop during an NCAA basketball game against UCLA, Jan. 22.

“I have dreams, where to play, when to play, but I have to take care of my body first and then see where my journey takes me,” Teder said.