Justin to play basketball at Mid Michigan

LEROY — Julie Justin didn’t want to give up on basketball after finishing her stellar career at Pine River.

She recently got her wish by signing a letter of intent to play basketball and attend Mid Michigan Community College in Mount Pleasant.

“I was looking at different schools and I really wanted to play basketball and the coaches came to talk with me,” Justin said. “I thought it would be a good fit for me.”

Mid Michigan coaches made contact with Justin earlier this year during the basketball season. It was the only program she seriously considered.

“They’ve been very successful,” Justin said. “They’ll be pretty young.”

Mid Michigan plays its games at Morey Courts in Mount Pleasant.

Justin said she isn’t sure how Mid Michigan’s coaches will use her, but is assuming it will be either as point or wing which she played in high school. Justin completed a four-year career in which she passed the 1,000-point mark, becoming only the third Pine River athlete to accomplish it.

The two others were her mom, Paula, and sister, Jamie.

She led the Bucks to Highland Conference and Class C district titles this season.

Justin averaged 14.8 points, 4.0 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game.

“Our regular season record over her years is 66-11,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “The most regular season games we have lost (in one season) is three. We have won three conference championships during that period. She has been all-conference all four years.”

Justin played volleyball during the fall. She’s usually devoted herself to AAU basketball in the spring and will continue to do that as she prepares for the collegiate level.

“I hope to improve on my defense and ball handling,” she said.

Being with a two-year college, Justin is hoping to get playing time her freshman season.

Her plans will be to transfer to a four-year college and continue to play basketball.