Justin Sweeney – All-time Leading Point Scorer

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When you talk about basketball players in Columbiana County one name is sure to pop up in that conversation, Justin Sweeney. Justin has been playing basketball since he was six years old. As a freshman, Justin knew that his main goals for his high school career were to start varsity, score 1,000 points, and become Lisbon’s High School all-time leading scorer. Justin accomplished all three of these goals before the end of his senior season.

As a freshman, Justin came off the bench for the Lisbon Blue Devil basketball team and played significant minutes on a team that was bound to go deep in tournament play. Justin decided after his freshman year that he would be the leader of the basketball team for his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. As a junior, he scored his 1,000 career point and had solidified himself as one of the top players in the area.

As in every Cinderella story, there must be some type of adversity, which came in week two of the football season. Coming off of a great win in week one, Justin tore his ACL and had surgery two weeks later. By week ten of the football season Justin had been through surgery and excelling through his therapy. Week ten Justin dressed on senior night and the last play of the game he got to step on the football field for the last time as a Blue Devil.

To some professional athletes this injury is career ending, but not for Justin Sweeney. He came back 12 weeks after surgery, getting completely cleared to resume full contact athletics within the first few basketball games. Once he came back he knew what his goal was, and quite frankly, he knew he would do everything in his power to complete this goal. He worked his tail off the whole season showing everybody why he is the best player in Columbiana County.

It all came down to this, one more game left, 32 points away from achieving history. Senior night was the last night Justin Sweeney would suit up as a Blue Devil on his home court. With 32 seconds left on the clock, Devils down by two, Justin Sweeney did what he does best and took over the game. Justin crossed the defender over and took it to the hoop for the most historic two points of his career.

The senior Blue Devil had earned a spot for his name in the history books as Lisbon’s all-time leading scorer. Two weeks later Justin had also learned that he was elected as Columbiana County Player of the Year. Not only was it an award that Justin had earned, it was an award that Justin deserved. For the second year in a row, Justin Sweeney was elected to 1st team All Ohio.

 

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