Vinith Johnson Gets Fired Up for Tuesday Basketball at Bakar

Published on November 15, 2017


Vinith Johnson, a research specialist at Neuroscape, looks forward to joining his professors, colleagues, other researchers and security guards from his center every Tuesday for a game of pickup basketball at the Bakar Fitness & Recreation Center at UC San Francisco Mission Bay.

Johnson said professors, researchers and students appreciate that they can leave their lab at Sandler Neuroscience Center, walk across the quad, and be running up and down the basketball courts at Bakar within five minutes. “If you are having a long day and working with complicated stats and data, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a world-class gym next door.”

Tuesday basketball was also a way for Johnson to connect with his lab. When he arrived at UCSF as a visiting scholar last summer, it was the first time he had left India. “It was my first time abroad. I was in a different environment with no family or friends.” Basketball helped Johnson break the ice with his new colleagues. “I was able to understand their interests and connect with them better.”

The games can get a little intense. Recently, Johnson broke his wrist diving for a ball during a Tuesday pickup game. “I was trying to intercept a wide pass from a teammate and collided with another person and fell on my wrist.”

Thankfully for Johnson, the gym is now a place to rehab his injury and his wrist is healing. “It has everything you need,” he said. “I even see my therapist in the gym and he asks me how my rehab is going. You want to rehabilitate faster when you have the right kind of people around you.”