LONGMONT — There is no doubt that Justinian Jessup is one of the most talented and most intelligent basketball players to play at his school.
Jessup goes to Longmont High, so that's saying something.
The driving force on the team that has won more games the any other Class 4A club over the past two seasons, and has made back-to-back Final Four appearances, Jessup is the BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year. This is his second straight year winning the award.
"I was kind of disappointed we weren't able to get it done but these are the best teammates I could ask for, the best coaches, and the best support system," Jessup said. "I left it all out there at the end of the day, so I don't have any regrets."
For Jessup, the only thing missing from his remarkable prep career was a state title. The Trojans were close twice. They lost in overtime to Air Academy in the 2015 championship game and fell to Valor Christian in the 2016 Final Four.
Jessup finished his career with over 1,500 points and among the leading all-time scorers in Longmont's historic program. Proving his both-ends mentality, Jessup also finished with 297 career steals, good for most all-time in school history.
His senior season, Jessup led the Trojans with 18.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game and 3.7 steals per game. When he graduates and heads off to play basketball for Boise State University next season, he will depart as a major part of an ultra-talented Trojans senior class that was seemingly competing for one state title or another every season in 2015-16.
"The past four years, we've all been friends," Jessup said. "Especially this year, we've all been close. We're just a family, we're all best friends and we had fun playing together so it was a lot of fun. I'm excited to go to Boise and I'm just trying to get ready for that opportunity right now, trying to get in the gym and get better. I'm very excited for what the future holds."
The lone four-year starter he has ever coached, Trojans head coach Jeff Kloster said that Jessup showed early from an early age that he had the potential to be one of the best Longmont has seen come through its halls.
"The biggest thing is he loves to play the game of basketball the right way," Kloster said. "He plays the game at both ends. He's one of the smartest players I've coached and his knowledge of the game, his court awareness, is second to none."