SEVEN LAKES IS HOME TO ONE OF THE MOST PREMIER BALLERS THE STATE OF TEXAS HAS SEEN IN RECENT MEMORY.
As the top-ranked female player in Texas, as well as being 10th overall in the nation, senior forward Justice Carlton is in a league of her own. Despite her status, she stays modest.
“It’s super humbling and a blessing,” said Carlton. “Girls walking around, little kids who I see are looking up to me, it’s just an experience that I never thought would be in my life.”
Considering her proficiency on the court, it might come as a surprise that basketball wasn’t always Carlton’s game.
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
“Honestly, I didn’t always think I’d be playing the game,” she laughed. “I played soccer my whole life, and I didn’t start playing basketball until about sixth grade. When we moved here from Austin, I finally picked up a basketball and eventually I got pretty good at it, which kept pushing me to want more.”
However, it would seem that it was meant to be since hoops has been part of the family business.
Justice’s mother, Kacy Carlton, is the assistant basketball coach for her team at Seven Lakes. Mom also has some game, starring at Baylor, playing in the WNBA and in Europe. Additionally, Carlton’s younger sister Madison joins her on the court.
“Being with both of them is the best possible situation for me,” Carlton said. “It’s nice to have my Mom there, knowing the plays and I can always go to her when needed. The same goes for my sister. There’s already an established relationship with us, which makes this experience that much more awesome.”
The stars of 2023-24 Seven Lakes Girls Basketball Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Carlton will soon be moving back to Austin after the season, where she will play for the University of Texas. After her recent experience with injuries, the Seven Lakes senior already has a plan for her future there.
“I think I want to go into the Health Science field and minor in Business,” she said. “I want to do my own practice with physical therapy. It’s a lot of school but it’s what I’ve always wanted to do, especially after my ACL injury in July and going through rehab.”
Since she’s almost finished with the rehabilitation process, Carlton expects to return to the court in December, where she’ll headline a Seven Lakes team that has its eyes set on a State Championship.
“I’m really going to put it all out there this year,” said Carlton. “I’m excited to come back to play with my sister and the rest of the girls. I’ve grown up with all these girls – we were all on the same AAU team. We’re going to leave it all on the floor for our last run, and that’s crazy to think about."
VYPE caught up with Cypress Christian School Swim Coach Tom Nugent at the Cypress Christian School 2023 Winter Media Day, discussing the upcoming season and more!
Check out the interview below!
It was the Year of the Eagles last season as Booker T. Washington took their school and community for an historic ride to the Class 4A State Title Game.
One of the surprises of the 2023 season had to be Clear Falls and their run to the Regional Finals against Beaumont United. Yes, the Knights would eventually fall to the eventual State Champs, but what a year it was.
Same for Klein Oak. What about those Panthers, who reached the Regional Finals before bowing out to DeSoto? FB Marshall reached the Regional Finals in Class 5A as well.
So, who is this year's surprise team?
Check out VYPE's Preseason Public School Top 20 Basketball Team in Greater Houston.
1. Atascocita Eagles
2. Booker T. Washington Eagles
3. Seven Lakes Spartans
4. Hitchcock Bulldogs
5. Summer Creek Bulldogs
6. Cypress Falls Eagles
7. Stafford Spartans
8. Shadow Creek Sharks
9. Bellaire Cardinals
10. Fort Bend Marshall Buffs
11. Jordan Warriors
12. Cypress Springs Panthers
13. Hightower Hurricanes
14. South Houston Trojans
15. CE King Panthers
16. Clements Rangers
17. Pasadena Memorial Mavs
18. Ridge Point Panthers
19. Fort Bend Bush Broncos
20. College Park Cavs
OTHERS TO WATCH: Barbers Hill, Davis, Cypress Park, Cypress Ranch, Cypress Ridge, Dawson, Dickinson, Dobie, Furr, Heights, George Ranch, Klein Cain, Klein Collins, Klein Oak, Manvel, Mayde Creek, Strake Jesuit, Stratford, Tomball Memorial, Travis, Westfield, Wheatley, Willis, Yates
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