STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA) — McKeesport native Johnasia Cash is known for her talents on the basketball court, but lately, she’s been focusing on a more important issue.
For Cash, growing up in McKeesport with her well-known last name meant living in the shadow of her cousin Swin, who is one of the best athletes in the history of western Pennsylvania.READ MORE: Investigation Leads To Largest Heroin And Fentanyl Bust In Indiana County
“It was amazing just to be recognized and to be introduced to so many people because of Swin Cash and her success at McKeesport High School,” Johnasia said. “But at a point in time, there was a moment where I said, ‘I know I’m related to Swin Cash and she’s my older cousin and that she played basketball just the same as me, but I’m Johnasia Cash’. I’m different, I’m me and I’m going to make a name for me.”
And she’s been fulfilling that goal, both on the court and in life. After transferring from SMU to Penn State last summer, Johnasia has been money. She was recently named Big Ten Player of the Week and is playing the best basketball of her career.READ MORE: Man Who Broke Into Ohio Statehouse And Vandalized It Claims It Was Because He Was Shot At
But she’s also an extremely talented singer and songwriter. After the tragic death of George Floyd, she expressed her feelings by writing a song called “It’s Time To Rise” and performed it at a Black Lives Matter gathering this summer.
“I got really inspired by a lot of famous celebrity artists out here writing songs and just pouring their feelings out into their music, making people understand how they feel on the inside about everything that was going on and I wanted to be a part of that,” Johnasia said.MORE NEWS: Debate Over Ancient Ceremonial Burial Site Goes Before Ohio Supreme Court
After graduation, Johnasia hopes to play professional basketball. But if that doesn’t work out, she wants to pursue a singing career while always looking for ways to continue helping her community.