Alumni corner: Longmont grad Justinian Jessup hoping to spark turnaround season at Boise State

Former Trojans player led Broncos in many ways as a junior

Courtesy photo/ Boise State Photo Services
Longmont High graduate Justinian Jessup has been one of Boise State’s most consistent players over the past three seasons. Coming to his senior season, he’s looking to raise the bar for himself and his teammates.

Former Longmont High basketball star Justinian was named player of the year twice while leading the Trojans to back-to-back Final Four appearances.

He certainly didn’t peak in high school.

As a freshman at Boise State, Jessup started 31 of 32 the team’s games, which is the most by any freshman in the history of the program. His sophomore season, Jessup shot 45.7 percent from 3-point range and his 90 long balls were the most ever by a Boise state sophomore in a single season. His junior season in 2018-19, Jessup totaled 463 points, 149 rebounds, 88 assists, 35 steals and 17 blocks to lead the Broncos in all  five categories.

Considering his trajectory and the fact that the Broncos will be looking to redeem themselves after a disappointing 13-20 season, Jessup has set himself up for what could be one heck of a senior season this winter.

“It was a little tough last year because we had a disappointing season as a team and we didn’t perform the way we wanted to,” Jessup said. “But it was a good growing experience for a lot of us guys. My first two years, we had great senior leadership and when those guys left it was our job to take over that spot. We learned what it took and we’re ready to do better moving forward.”

As good as he was last season, Jessup did what he did while battling an injury.

Having dealt with chronic knee pain since his senior year in high school, the aggravation in Jessup’s left knee began to worsen and began to bother him significantly towards the end of last season. In April, he had surgery to remove a bone growth from the knee. Back practicing with the Broncos, the former Longmont Trojan says he feels better than ever.

“It was only like a six-week recovery so I’m pretty fortunate about that,” Jessup said. “I’m back to playing and doing everything.”

Jessup has checked a great number of boxes already through the prep and collegiate basketball chapters of his basketball career. Just the third Mountain West player ever to lead his team in the five major statistics in a season and just 48 3-pointers short of the all-time Boise State record, there are likely plenty more to come for Jessup over the next year alone.

That’s all well and good, but Jessup is hoping to rack up a few more victories before his time as a Bronco is over. And then, he hopes the skyrocketing career trajectory he has been on for most of his life leads to a professional chapter to end his basketball career.

“I want to play as long as I can afterwards, overseas or here in the United States, wherever the opportunities are that may come up,” Jessup said. “But as a team, we’re just having a good summer and focusing on building every day and trying to have a good season and make the tournament.”