Justin Longstreet: To me basketball is what I do but it’s not who I am. It’s something I picked up at an early age that’s fun, and I use it as an outlet to release any thoughts I have. I love the game of basketball because it has brought me happiness and lifelong friendships and had me travel to parts of the country I never thought I would travel too in my life. I can have a bad day, and go to the gym and my day instantly gets better for sure.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your childhood?
Justin Longstreet: My childhood was like any other childhood honestly. I have a big family so when we go out of town to Tampa, Florida we have a lot of cousins so everything is always fun. I have 3 brothers named Devin, James and Micah. Growing up with my all boys made it super enjoyable because we were always trying to outdo each other or just do something to have fun. Then when it comes to friends, the same friends I had since I was younger are the same ones I’m close with till this day. During my childhood, I was always outside doing something whether it was football, basketball, or just trying to race somebody. I was rarely inside.
Joe Gaiter: What are your fondest memories about Columbia High School?
Justin Longstreet: Columbia was real fun. Playing for such a legendary program was fun as well. There was never ever a dull day at Columbia. Everyday it was some different that took place that kept you on your toes for sure. Playing basketball was fun of course, but I would say the memories I enjoy the most is the things that happened outside of basketball such as our senior picnic, or senior skip day and things of that such. Those are the memories nobody I could never forget.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about playing AAU with the Atlanta Celtics.
Justin Longstreet: Atlanta Celtics is the best AAU program in GA by far. I actually wasn’t that good when I played for them, I was still learning and very raw, but we played great competition and I had great coaches all the way from when I was little with coach Chris, till when I went back in high school and played with Coach Demond.
Joe Gaiter: How did you cope with losing your friend and teammate Terrell?
Justin Longstreet: Losing him hurt me in a way I can never explain. I think it helped me cope better by knowing that he is in a better place and he is watching over me. I still think about him every single day and whenever I feel lack of motivation for anything, I think about him and it snaps me out of it. RIP TC 24.
How was your time at Marion Military Academy?
Justin Longstreet: Whew, that was a time. My time there was eye opening. It made me realize that basketball isn’t just always all fun. Being that our school was a military JUCO, we had to do more than just play basketball. We marched and did other military stuff that we weren’t too fond of. One thing I can take away from there is the friendships I have with my teammates till this day. The freshman that I came in with named Jaycee, Shawn, Bubba, Los, Mike are still close as ever, along with the older guys like Tripp and Nemo that mentored most of us while we were there.
Joe Gaiter: What made you transfer to Clark Atlanta?
Justin Longstreet: I always wanted to play for a school in my city where I’m from. When the opportunity from Coach Melvin Scott came about, it was a no brainer and the rest is history.
Joe Gaiter: Tell us about your 2019/2020 14-16 season last year.
Justin Longstreet: Last year wasn’t as bad as our record looks. We had the toughest non-conference schedule ever which lead us to start off super slow. We tightened up when it got time to play teams in our conference. We had a good conference tournament until our semifinal loss. I think down the back stretch of the season, we started having a lot of unities at the wrong times and I believe that hindered us from getting that ring we wanted.
Joe Gaiter: What impact have you had on the team?
Justin Longstreet: On the team I feel like I brought a balance. We had different personalities on the team last year of course, and I think I kept the balance with everybody but just keeping the energy good with my outgoing joking personality.
Joe Gaiter: Who has been the toughest player you ever had to guard?
Justin Longstreet: That’s a tough question. I would have to say it’s between any old player from Columbia. From Travis Leslie, Amu Saaka, Chaun Tinney, J Cobb, Lance Storrs and Jordan Lemons. They all older now, so it’s a little different if we were to match up now.
Joe Gaiter: What are 3 songs on your pregame playlist?
Justin Longstreet: 3 songs on my pregame play list is 1.) Jayice- Ice Familia, feat Yung Mal, & Lil Quill 2.) F.A. Bubba- Talk to my 9 3.) GSM Bubba- Freestyle
Joe Gaiter: Have you reached your athletic peak?
Justin Longstreet: I think I almost have athletically. Everybody knows me knows that I am not the best athletically so I rely on my skill level all the time which I have no problem with. I get told I play like an old man all the time, so if I have reached my peak them I’m fine with that cause it gets the job done.
Joe Gaiter:Will Clark Atlanta have any games this year?
Justin Longstreet: I’m honestly not sure. We are supposed to, but Morehouse cancellation of their season might put absent in ours as well. So as of right now, I heard we are supposed to, but we are not sure.
Joe Gaiter: Where have you been training during the offseason?
Justin Longstreet: I train with Jaycee Skillz at a gym in Henry County. He is the best trainer out right now. Follow his IG @jayceeskillz and DM him for more info on his training sessions.
Joe Gaiter: What is your untold story?
Justin Longstreet: I think my story is still being written as we speak but I can share a story I never told anyone before. My untold story is that during my JUCO days, I broke my back and it left me depressed and in a negative state for a long time. Anybody that knows me knows that I am full of life and have energy all the time and always down to have fun or have a good time. When I broke my back, I lost myself for a while. I had to re-invent myself which led to multiple changes such as getting closer with God and getting more tied in with my faith. Now I go through everyday trying to make somebody smile and make somebody happy, cause I know what it feels like to be down and out of it and feeling like you can’t talk to any one because you know that nobody cares to listen. I never talked to anybody how I felt during that time, just tried to laugh it away which led it to bottle up inside of me and eat me up. So now I try to talk to my friends a lot more about things that most people are afraid to talk about. Mental health is real.
Joe Gaiter: What is your major and what do you plan on doing once you graduate?
Justin Longstreet: My major is criminal justice, with a minor in sociology. When I graduate, I honestly want to get into being a forensic psychologist. That’s some I always wanted to do for some reason so that’s the plan.
Joe Gaiter: Who are some athletes we need to keep on our radar?
Devin Longstreet Tae Hardy Lorenzo McGhee Kenton Eskridge Kawasiki Ricks Eason Bing (CAU baseball) Isaiah Goolsby (CAU Football) Kel (CAU Football) J Wash (CAU Football) Kye Jeremiah Anybody else from DeKalb county, we breed different over there.
Joe Gaiter: What is life like for you off the court?
Justin Longstreet: Off the court life is good, and fun. I try to protect my peace and energy the best I can, so you’ll never catch me with anybody that has bad vibes. I’m with my brothers majority of the time though. When I’m not with them, you’ll catch me with my close patnas that I consider family.
Joe Gaiter: What do you want your legacy to be?
Justin Longstreet: I want my legacy to be that I was a respectful, outgoing, God fearing man who went out his way to help anybody he could. I feel like everybody is going to have their own opinion, either off of assumptions or other people or maybe even off experience, but I want the final verdict to be that I never had a bad vibe/spirit about myself and I carried myself in a good way.
Joe Gaiter: Final Words?
Justin Longstreet: Keep pushing at whatever you doing in life. Don’t ever let somebody stop yo motion and tell you that you can’t do something. I appreciate the opportunity for my story to be heard.
Joe Gaiter: Shout outs?
Justin Longstreet: I want to first give a big shout out to my Lord and Savior. Shoutout My ma dukes, my pops, my 3 brothers of course, and the whole Longstreet family. Ray Ray and the whole family over there. All of my sandbox brothers and my super close patnas. My 2106 family. TeeJay. Literally the whole Eastside. Anybody that has ever been there through the ups and downs with me. Shoutout to anybody that I’ve ever met. It’s so many people to name that I couldn’t really say everybody name because it might take up the whole page. Shoutout to Teshaun and Lil Jay as well, free the guys.
Joe Gaiter: Social media?
Justin Longstreet: I need everybody that reads this go download a new black owned/generated app called Movespot created by my brother Seth, Sam, and a few more others from the eastside. Follow his ig @sethasra3 and click link in his Bio. Add me on there @jlongstreet24. Instagram; justinlongstreet_ , Twitter; __JustinL
Justin Longstreet, Clark Atlanta, Interview with Joe Gaiter was last modified: February 22nd, 2021 by Joseph Gaiter