Photo courtesy of Justin Everett

Humboldt State Alum Plays Professional Basketball Abroad

Justin Everett continues his basketball career in the Republic of Georgia

Justin Everett continues his basketball career in the Republic of Georgia

Justin Everett was on the Humboldt State University men’s basketball team for five years. After graduating with a major in business marketing and a minor in economics, he decided to continue his athletic career as a professional athlete with the BC Cactus Tbilisi out of the Georgian Basketball League in the Republic of Georgia.

During the signing process, teams based in different countries were interested in Everett, but he didn’t have a specific place in mind that he wanted to play for. He and his sports agent solely based their decision on which team would be the best fit for him to showcase what he can do and get more exposure.

“My goal was to get my feet in the door in a respected league, where I can perform and establish myself as a high level player to propel my career in years to come,” Everett said.

Everett played a total of 15 games during his 2019-20 season with Cactus Tbilisi. He averaged a total of 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game. On Dec. 7, 2019, Everett set his season high with 23 points and a season high of three assists in just 35 minutes against BC Titebi. He had a season high of 12 rebounds in 36 minutes against Dinamo Tbilisi on Dec. 22, 2019. Everett also recorded 5 double-doubles, scored in double figures 12 times in 15 games, and had 20 points or more in three games.

Due to COVID-19, his season was cut short. The transition of playing in Georgia to moving back to the States was a big change for Everett. He moved back in with his family, who he hadn’t lived with since he moved away for college. The hardest part has been not having the facilities he normally had. Everett hasn’t been able to shoot a basketball since he got back to the States.

Everett was first inspired to play basketball when he was only two years old, but he didn’t start playing at a competitive level until he was in the second grade. His role models growing up were Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as his father, who taught him how to play after he showed an interest.

“I was born in 1996, so Kobe had just gotten into the league,” Everett said. “I grew up watching him and Shaq win all those rings in LA and my dad played college basketball so I kind of just got into it. Once I started working out and started playing, it just felt comfortable and I enjoyed it.”

Everett was born in Glendale, CA but was raised in Clovis from third grade up until he graduated from Buchanan High School. He started taking his basketball career more serious the summer after his freshman year in high school.

“We put in a lot of work after my freshman year of high school,” Everett said.

Looking back on his career as a professional athlete, Everett says he never imagined getting this far. Although he is very passionate about playing basketball and loves the game, he says he had a backup plan of going straight to the workforce if he didn’t get any college offers after high school.

“Honestly, I didn’t think I would make it to college basketball,” Everett said. “I almost didn’t make it to Humboldt State and then Steve Kinder ended up giving me an opportunity to go play basketball over at Humboldt on a full ride scholarship.”

“Humboldt County, the Arcata area and just all the fans and the support was tremendous. They always packed the gym and they were loud every night we were in there. I enjoyed the process of it all.”

Justin Everett

Kinder was the head coach for HSU men’s basketball and was there throughout the entirety of Everett’s college basketball career. After Everett’s sophomore season, he tore his ACL and redshirted the following year of 2016-2017, he went through the rehab process and fully recovered before playing again the last two years he had left at HSU.

During his last season, Everett led the Jacks with 15.6 average points per game and a 6.6 rebounding average. The 2018-19 All-California Collegiate Athletic Association First Team honoree shot 50% from the field and 76% from the charity stripe during his senior season.

Everett says he really enjoyed the years he played basketball at HSU and all the road trips he took with his team.

“Humboldt County, the Arcata area and just all the fans and the support was tremendous,” Everett said. “They always packed the gym and they were loud every night we were in there. I enjoyed the process of it all.”

He said the best part was getting to grow and evolve his game and play for a super league.

“I definitely want to try and play, five, ten, 12 years,” Everett said. “See where it takes me and try to get to the highest league possible.”

For those wishing to follow in Everett’s footsteps, he recommends lifting weights, eating right, getting a routine going, stay disciplined and consistent. With that, he says the results will follow.

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