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Justin Longstreet | Decatur, GA

Clark Atlanta University Basketball Guard

Written by Malik Brown

"I’m a family man. I love my family and friends a lot. I base my life around them, and I try to keep everybody together. My family brings me a lot of joy. I'm funny, and I love having fun. I’m basic, I don’t do too much. I’m not all in the scene, I like to be behind the scenes.

 

I’ve been playing basketball since I was five, but I was playing baseball a lot at first. I took a break because I was playing baseball so much, but when I really locked in, I locked in. Then I stopped playing because it became too fast. They were throwing the ball too hard.

 

The highs of basketball is meeting new people and building relationships with people you thought you never would. You get to travel the world, especially playing in AAU and college. It’s fun, but there are a lot of lows. As you get older, it’s a lot of politics. People might overshadow you because you’re not 6’8. When you're playing college basketball, of course they want so much out of you, but you got other stuff you got to worry about because you're grown. Your coaches will kick you out of school if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, but you got so much on your plate. So now it starts messing with your mental. Now you're thinking, “Do I want to play basketball anymore? Do I want to quit?”

 

The Atlanta Celtics were my first AAU team, and one of my first teammates was Terrell. He was my first teammate when I was 9 or 10. On October 27, 2013, he passed away in the All-Star game. He had a seizure and was right next to me. I carry him around a lot, and I have a wristband with him on it, and a tattoo of him. He was like my brother.

 

Everybody that knew ‘Rell knew all he wanted to do was play basketball. He was about to go to Miller Grove before it happened, so it was like he got his basketball dreams taken away from him. I think Florida State was supposed to come in the next day to see him.

 

After that, I really didn’t have much of a passion for basketball, and it made me look at a lot of stuff differently. I cried for a week straight, and I couldn’t stop. To see him pass away playing the game that he loved messed up my mental. I don't know how everybody else got through it, but I got through it just day by day. It didn’t happen overnight.

 

CSI Miami got me into Forensic Psychology. I just started getting to it like some years ago, but I watch it every day. I just go and binge watch it. I didn’t know I was watching when I was little until I started getting older. I kept watching and was like this is what I want to do. 

I’m thinking about the future, but not too much, because I don’t want to be caught up in stressing myself out. I like living in the moment because I might not get this moment back. I got a lot of emotions. It’s kind of overwhelming, but it’s fun and happy emotions."

Watch Justin's Interview

Creative Credits

Edited by: Simeon Webb

Creative Direction: Nia Symone / Tyrone McClendon

Director of Photography: Scoot Took It

GFX by: Ethan Garner

Story Written by: Malik Brown