Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
PEEBLES — There aren’t many accolades or records that Jacey Justice doesn’t already own.
Peebles’ unquestioned leader has repeatedly hit shot after shot while practically rewriting the school’s record books over her three-year career.
But this Sunday evening, she made quite possibly her biggest splash to date.
Justice committed to play her college basketball career at Western Carolina, an NCAA Division I school located in Cullowhee, N.C.
“From the beginning, Western Carolina has just seemed like the right fit for myself and my family,” Justice said. “Coach [Kiley] Hill and his staff have been great throughout the process. It’s a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited to join and be a part of the Catamount family.”
Last winter, Justice had her best season yet … and that’s saying something, considering the seasons she pieced together as a freshman and sophomore.
She averaged 26.5 points per game alongside 4.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 4.5 steals per night. She shot 42 percent from 3-point land and 83 percent from the charity stripe.
Those numbers helped her earn SHAC and District Player of the Year honors, as well as a first-team All-Ohio nod, as Peebles ended the season at 21-4 overall.
“Becoming a college athlete has always been a dream and goal of mine,” Justice said. “My parents both played at the college level and, more recently, I’ve watched two brothers have successful college and professional careers. It’s a blessing to get the same opportunity.”
Justice’s brothers, Beau and Blake, have both had success in the college ranks after setting a new standard at Peebles.
Jacey is now looking to follow in their footsteps.
“Family means everything to me. Basketball has been a huge part of our family over the years and we, as children, have been blessed with loving parents that have sacrificed time and time again to give us an opportunity to succeed,” she said. “My teammates and coaches have been super supportive. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. From high school to AAU, they’ve been great.”
However, before Justice gets to Western Carolina, there is business to attend to.
Peebles has played in three consecutive district championships, winning titles in 2018-19 and 2019-20. Jacey, who’s already the program’s all-time leading scorer, is hoping to continue that success and take her team where it’s never gone before.
“For me, it’s all about winning and I’m excited to get back out there with this year’s group,” she said. “We’ve been working hard this summer and want to continue to climb off of last year’s season.”