Justin’s Double Duty: 2 State Titles

KUSchool: Dunbar High

Sport:  Basketball, soccer

Academics: Justin has a 4.46 weighted GPA, has taken seven A.P. classes and scored 31 on his ACT, including perfect 36’s in math and science.

Parents: Robin & Brad

By playing two major team sports at Dunbar High, Justin Kelley became a one-of-a-kind athlete.

Justin, 18, was a three-year starter at center midfield on the soccer team that won the school’s fourth State title in 2013 when Justin was a sophomore.

He also was a three-year starter on the basketball team that made school history this year when the Bulldogs captured Dunbar’s first State basketball championship.

Talk about double duty. Justin is the only athlete in Dunbar history to play on two State championship teams.

On top of that, he’s also one of the school’s top students. He entered Dunbar in the prestigious math-science program and stayed two years.

But he was the only math-science student playing two sports – an overwhelming prospect for any teenager, even one as a gifted as Justin.

As a senior, he carries a 4.46 weighted GPA, has taken seven A.P. classes and scored 31 on the ACT, including perfect 36 scores in math and science.

He will study mechanical engineering at Alabama on a full academic scholarship.

He is a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club, and was selected student of the month something like 10 times. “I don’t know why I keep winning,” he said with an infectious laugh.

Justin was an All-State soccer player as a senior after cracking the varsity lineup in 10th grade, the year the Bulldogs defeated Trinity in the State title game.

Dunbar won a thrilling match settled after two overtime periods on penalty kicks. The game was played at Dunbar before a huge crowd, which stormed the field in celebration.

“That was the craziest moment of my life,” Justin said. “It was a mosh pit on the field, and afterward we celebrated in the locker room with all the alumni who were there.”

That celebration paled in comparison to the euphoria that came with the school’s first Sweet 16 title. A three-year starter and the team’s top defender, Justin and his teammates received the full hero’s welcome.

A jubilant crowd greeted the team bus when it arrived back at Dunbar, and the players were recognized by the state and city legislatures. They also were ferried in a limousine to Dunbar’s two feeder middle schools where the students lined up outside and high-fived the players.

Which celebration was bigger – basketball or soccer?

“Oh, it was no comparison. Basketball was a huge deal,” Justin said.

Almost as big as the legend that Dunbar’s one-of-a-kind athlete will leave behind.

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