After Unique Upbringing, Johnson's Scott Makes Early Splash In Pool
It was hard to miss San Antonio Johnson freshman swimmer Jada Scott during the 2019-2020 high school swim season because she earned a pair of top eight finishes at the 2020 UIL 6A girls state swim meet, but there's an interesting backstory that many people are not aware of.
She and her twin brother Luke, who are of Samoan descent, were born in a Hawaii hospital. Their biological younger brother, Lionel, was also among the 12 kids that Madonna Scott adopted.
"I find it pretty cool," Jada said of her unique family.
Madonna, who said adopting was "her purpose" in life, doesn't have any biological children.
"I always wanted children [and] I lost four children," Madonna said of how everything came to be.
Madonna wanted the best for her family members and tried to provide them as normal of a childhood as possible. One way she executed that was introducing her children to sports at an early age and encouraging them to find athletic activities that they enjoyed participating in. For Jada, that was swimming, and she has experienced many years of joy and success because of it.
"I've been a competitive swimmer since I was six," said Jada.
Almost immediately, her coach at the time encouraged Jada to make the move to club swimming because she possessed the necessary qualities to be a great swimmer. His projection played out, and the Scotts pursued the opportunity when she was seven years old. It prepared her so much for the competition at high school and national meets that she recorded an eighth place finish in the 200-yard individual medley and a second place result in the 200-yard freestyle relay at this year's UIL state meet.
Jada always likes her chances in shorter events, but doesn't want to stop there. She is currently working with her club coach and former Olympian Doug Gjertsen to improve her standing in other competitions.
"He put me in a distant group," said Jada. "I had no endurance, but I'm getting better at the 200."
Jada admitted that she "didn't take swimming as seriously" when she first started, but she now feels right at home in the pool. The turn of the tide started to occur when she started developing strong friendships with other swimmers. They are now some of her strongest supporters. Some go to rival North East ISD schools, but that didn't stop them and others from voting over 28,000 times for her in the recent VYPE San Antonio Girls Swimmer of the Year poll win.
"A lot of friends, even from [San Antonio] Reagan, were voting for me," said Jada. "I have so much fun with other people, even though they're on other teams. They're my closest friends and push me a lot."
Madonna has even noticed her daughter's love for swimming emerge over the years. She said when Jada isn't swimming, she "misses the water" and the "southing comfort" of the activity.
Jada knows she's ahead of the curve after one high school season and plans to have a swimming role for decades to come. She wants to follow in the footsteps of Gjertsen by becoming a college and Olympic swimmer and ultimately a club swim coach for high school athletes.
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