Virginia Cavalier’s Justice Bartley road to UVA

Sports

Virginia Cavalier’s Justice Bartley hasn’t had the easiest road to D1 ball, but the choice to take a bet on himself.

“It was a bit of a journey to change that perspective, but I’m glad that I did,” Justice said.
 

“I played basketball for my senior year at Montrose Christian in Maryland and Coach Bennett came through to recruit one of my teammates, that was my first encounter with him and I was committed to Cornell and that didn’t end up working out,” Justice said.

So, Justice transitioned to prep school.
 
“At the end of prep school I was still getting offers from mid-major schools and another offer that was on the table was to walk on at Virginia,” Justice said.
 
When Justice took his visit and walked into the JPJ, he was greeted with familiar faces.
 
“I played against Evan Nolte and Malcolm Brogdon in high school and I’ve known Isaiah Wilkins since we were in kindergarten or first grade, we were young when we first met each other, so for me coming in here was almost like a warm welcome from everybody from Georgia,” Justice said.
 
“It was cool because I hadn’t seen him in a while because he moved, and I was still in Georgia, so it was just good and I made sure everybody embraced him,” Virginia Cavalier Senior Forward Isaiah Wilkins said. “That’s how it is for everybody, I’m just glad he felt at home.”
 
Helping him make the choice to walk on at UVA.
 
“For me the transition was hard because I went from playing all the time to now, it’s okay, now I have to make sure I can help my team out in another way being a walk on doesn’t mean that your role on the team decreases it just means that your playing time may decrease,” Justice said. “So my role on the team just shifted from one thing to the next and now I had to learn how to help out my team in other ways .
 
By embracing his role, he admits sometimes it wasn’t the easiest.
 
“I’m doing whatever I can right now to make sure that we are accomplishing all of our goals as well you have to make sure that, coach talks about servant hood and that’s something I’ve really embodied while I’ve been here servant hood,” Justice said.
 
“I think he stands for everything this program is about, the five pillars everything this program is about he really stands for,” Virginia Cavalier Sophomore Guard Ty Jerome said.
 
Since Justice walked on his freshman year, he’s played in 20 games, but there is one game this season that stands out more than most.
 
“We are coming off a great win, first win on the road its at Virginia Tech and so I’m congratulating my teammates and I walk into the locker room,” Justice said. “Coach is doing his thing having his spiel about another great win we had and he talks about our pillars and he came across servant hood and then he mentioned to me like Justice.”
 
“I’m going to reward you with that scholarship and so for me it was unbelievable, I cant even put into words how that felt in that moment,” Virginia Cavalier Basketball Head Coach Tony Bennett said.
 
“It was crazy, that’s probably my favorite moment that ive had since ive been here, it was just really cool to see him get that because like I said he works really hard and seeing his effort pay off was really cool,” Virginia Cavalier Red-Shirt Freshman Guard De’Andre Hunter said.
 
“He really embodies, we talk about being a servant in our program a lot, and that’s a walk-on that does all the little things. You should have seen the joy in his eyes and the excitement in the players’ eyes. I’m on a high from that,” Coach Bennett said.
 
Justice said he still gets chills when he watches that moment back and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
 
“I know that in this moment right now, I am this, I’m glad, I’m so glad, I don’t regret the decision I made even thought it was something that is almost looked down upon, you know like who you had a scholarship to go other places, no like, you know God lead me here and I haven’t looked back since,” Justice said.
 
 

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