"We've had kids like Dereck Weiford, Evan Ramsey and Owen Browning; kids that weren't really supposed to be stars step up and play. Now they can take their athleticism with all that they've learned and they can be really tough.''
Justice is also a stickler for detail and discipline.
"I'm the guy that drives people crazy,'' he said. "If your foot is supposed to be here and it's there, it's not good enough. It's just plain not good enough for me. We put a lot of stuff in. You can't be a dummy and play for me.
"You've got to be really able to process it and I expect you to make your grades, too. [The players] know it's not good enough for me for them to come out with their pants hanging down half way off their behind and [wearing] different kind of socks. We're not doing that. We're going to look the part and be the part.''
Justice has taken a beating the last several years on messages boards and chat rooms for welcoming so many transfers.
"If we're trying to do something why did we let the two [girls] go?,'' he said. "Everybody said, 'What about these kids. Is there something you could do to keep them?'
"There's probably something I could have done, but it wasn't what they wanted. It wasn't what their families wanted. They wanted something else. I'm tickled to death for those kids. They were great kids and great families. I coach whoever comes in the door. That's just all there is to it.''
Justice said success often attracts talent.
"Let's use some sense,'' he said. "The thing that's really hard for people to understand, they look at me and say, 'Well, that guys owns The Greenbrier.'
"The bottom line is it's hard for them to realize that I'm just a coach. People want to come to our program, our community and our school because it's good. What are we going to do, beat them away?''
Justice said East has provided a safe landing for kids who have had troubled backgrounds.
"For all these naysayers, they don't know that Bryce Woodliff came to us,'' the East coach said. "He would have ended up in a public school with a lot of bad influences in Roanoke and his dad said, 'I don't want that for my son. We're going somewhere and we're getting away from here. My son is drifting the wrong way.'
"He's a great young man. As far as me having a role in it, forget it. Rondale has grown into the best person and a good, good guy. Obi is adopted by a white family and that kid, it's the saddest but greatest story in the world.''
Justice could have two busy weeks in mid-March when the girls and boys state tournaments run concurrently at the Charleston Civic Center.
"I am genuinely in this for one thing and that's the kids,'' he said. "I've won enough gold rings. You just really want to see these kids mature, do good academically and become good citizens. I love it for the community.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.