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Justin McKoy headed to UVA

Top 12 plays from Panther Creek at Green Hope boys and girls basketball rivalry games

The Green Hope Falcons visited the Panther Creek Catamounts in high school boys and girls basketball Fight for 55 rivalry action on Jan. 23, 2018. Green Hope swept both games, winning 53-25 in girls basketball and 56-50 in boys basketball.
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The Green Hope Falcons visited the Panther Creek Catamounts in high school boys and girls basketball Fight for 55 rivalry action on Jan. 23, 2018. Green Hope swept both games, winning 53-25 in girls basketball and 56-50 in boys basketball.

Justin McKoy won’t be taking any more visits.

The Panther Creek High School senior forward took an official visit to Virginia this weekend, and on Monday made it official that he was becoming a Cavalier. McKoy posted on Twitter Monday he was committing to coach Tony Bennett and heading to UVa next season.

Bennett started recruiting McKoy over the summer, but could not promise him a scholarship spot. Like any good college coach, Bennett over recruited in case a spot opened up. That spot opened up when Ty Jerome declared for the NBA Draft.

McKoy credited his strong relationship with Bennett as one of the main reasons he committed so quickly.

“He’s a man strong in his faith and I really like that,” McKoy said. “I’m very strong and really serious about my faith, so finding a coach like that is a really big deal and I don’t think that super common.”

McKoy will join former AAU teammate, and Holly Springs center Kadin Shedrick in Charlottesville next season.

Last week McKoy said Shedrick had reached out and tried to sway his decision, and as it turns out the duo will be reunited.

“I actually told him right before I announced,” McKoy said. “He was kind of pushing for it. I’ve known Kadin since sixth grade and I’m really looking forward to playing with him and getting to hang around him a lot.”

McKoy (6-8, 225) originally committed to Penn State in November, but asked to be released from his National Letter of Intent. He was granted his release and immediately picked up offers from N.C. State, UNC and Virginia.

Wanting to stay closer to his family, McKoy felt like Charlottesville reminded him a lot of North Carolina and the UVa campus is close enough for his family to come see him play, but far enough that he feels like he’s actually away at college.

“Some people were saying I wanted to stay home, no I wanted to stay close to home,” McKoy said. “If I wanted to stay home I wouldn’t go to college. I wanted to stay closer to home. But the place up there it looks like North Carolina, it’s nice.”

The coaching staff at UVa sees McKoy being like another DeAndre Hunter, McKoy said. Hunter announced on Monday that he would forgo his final two years and enter the NBA Draft, joining Jerome. McKoy can see himself filling that role.

“The only difference I would say is he has really elite defense,” McKoy said. “That’s something that I am going to work towards. Just seeing the availability with Ty Jerome and DeAndre Hunter leaving, I just love the situation and the opportunity that I can be provided.”

McKoy was on campus on Saturday as UVa honored the national champs at Scott Stadium.

“That was special,” McKoy said. “The celebration was awesome, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I felt like I actually earned it. At the same time it was cool to see, it was more like motivation, like that’s something I want to do.”

McKoy averaged 24.6 ppg and 10.4 rebounds this year for the Catamounts.

Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.

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