Justice Bartley closed out the scoring for Virginia men’s basketball in last night’s 78-52 victory at Virginia Tech, draining a 3-pointer with 33 seconds remaining. The 6’5” junior guard had more reason to celebrate immediately following the game, when head coach Tony Bennett awarded the walk-on a scholarship.
Coach Bennett informed the media of his decision during his postgame press conference. Virginia basketball has since released video of the Cavalier locker room reaction when Bartley was informed of the news.
— Virginia Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) January 4, 2018
Bartley, a native of Lilburn (GA) and graduate of Montrose Christian (Rockville, MD), wondered why senior captain Isaiah Wilkins took a spot beside him in the locker room postgame.
“He wasn’t sitting next to me beforehand,” Bartley joked.
He soon had his answer.
“Coach said that, you know, all of us, you know, we do our best and try to have servanthood. We do our best and embrace all of our pillars. He said, ‘Based off that, Justice, I want to award you a scholarship,’” recalled Bartley in this interview posted on VirginiaSportsTV.com. “And that kind of blew my mind. I still can’t believe it. It’s real surreal for me, but I’m really thankful for it.”
“It means a lot to me,” Bartley added. “It means that all the work that has been put in these three years has not been in vain. That coach does see all the little things.”
Bartley’s Cavalier teammates rejoiced at the news, and sophomore point guard Ty Jerome took to Twitter to further express his congratulations.
MY DAWG!!!! You deserve it more than anyone. Incredibly happy for you https://t.co/H4WUMDNCmU
— Ty Jerome (@TyJerome_) January 4, 2018