After having his senior football season cut short due to a knee injury, O'Neill's Justin Appleby is taking advantage of his time on the basketball court.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Appleby leads the Eagles in scoring (20.4), assists (4.5), steals (2.2) and is second in rebounds (6.2).
He currently holds a basketball offer from NAIA Morningside with interest from fellow GPAC schools Hastings, Concordia and Dakota Wesleyan.
Division II UNK has shown some interest and Appleby's academics are helping with the recruiting process. A regent scholarship awaits if he wants it. That means free tuition to Nebraska, UNO or UNK.
"I am 50-50 on if I am going to play a sport in college," he said. "I want to play, and if I get the right offer financially I want to play basketball."
Appleby's best skill on the court is his long-range shooting ability. He is shooting 41 percent on 133 attempts, three points better than his career average.
"Ever since I was in kindergarten I have been in the gym and most days in the offseason I am always in the gym," he said. "I started as a freshman and that gave me confidence. I don't take days off during the season."
Appleby is a self-proclaimed gym rat and his game after one of the NBA's best guards.
"I really like watching Kyrie Irving," he said. "He is not a tall guard and I feel like I resemble him. If I'm left open I will shoot it."
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Yutan's Colby Tichota inbounds the ball during the Heartland Hoops Classic in Grand Island on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Yutan's Allen Leahy looks for an open teammate.
Yutan's Brady Timm sets up the offense.
South Loup's Kalen Dockweiler looks to shake his defender.
South Loup's Jack Rush handles the ball.
South Loup's Jace Connell cuts through the defense.
Yutan's Colton Feist, No. 40, keeps his focus.
South Loup's Cade Connell shouts to his teammates.
O'Neill's Dennis Herrera gets set on defense.
Hastings St. Cecilia coach Kevin Asher looks on.
Hastings St. Cecilia senior Trey Asher drives to the basket.
O'Neill's Alex Thramer, center, boxes out.
Hastings St. Cecilia's Joe Carey drives to the basket.
Nebraska football walk-on commit Wyatt Liewer hustles back.
O'Neill senior Alex Thramer dribbles up court.
York's Garrett Snodgrass is defended by Omaha South sophomore Rashawn McNeal-Lee.
2019 Nebraska football commit Garrett Snodgrass stands near the free-throw line.
Omaha South's Tyreek Crawford tries to get by York's Brady Danielson.
Omaha South guard Jay Saunders directs traffic.
York's Reid Hoffman looks to pass.
Omaha South's handles the ball.
Omaha South's Tyrece Griggs stands in the middle of three York players.
Omaha South coach Bruce Chubbick oversees the action.
York's Brady Danielson pushes the ball up the court.
York's Brady Danielson is defended by Omaha South's Jay Saunders.
Omaha South's Julio Rangel-Sepulveda Garrett, left, and Tyree Griggs, right, look to block out York's Garrett Snodgrass, center.
Omaha South's Julio Rangel-Sepulveda, left, and Tyree Griggs, right, look to block out York's Garrett Snodgrass, center.
York's Garrett Snodgrass looks to make a play.
York's Brady Danielson looks for the ball.
Nebraska walk-on commit Simon Otte drives to the basket.
Omaha South's Jay Saunders shakes hands with his teammates.
Omaha South sophomore Muoch Chagey reaches for a rebound.
Ponca faces Gretna during the Heartland Hoops Classic.
Ponca's Logan Kingsbury handles the ball.
Nebraska football walk-on signee Joey Johnson looks to get by his defender.
Dalton Treymayne knocks the ball loose from Gretna's Tre Mikkelsen.
Tyler Sullivan surveys the defense.
Tre Mikkelsen looks to make a play off the dribble.
Manape Cleveland draws contact.
Jeriah GreyOwl looks to make a pass.
Winnebago sophomore Ed Payer sets up the offense.
Manape Cleveland pulls up for a jumper.
Mayra Almyra holds the ball.
William Wingett defends a pass.
GICC's Mayra Almayra eyes the defense.
GICC freshman Russ Martinez is defended by Winnebago's Ed Payer.
Jake Kudron hustles down the court.
Tyson Gordon evaluates the defense.
Baylor Scheierman defends in the inbound pass.
UNK signee Henry Penner gets ready for the next play.
Austin Ash prepares for the next play.
Omaha Skutt's Jake Kudron calls for the ball.
Tyson Gordon makes a pass around two Aurora defenders.
Omaha Skutt's Austin Ash looks to get around his defender.
Sunrise's Blaise Keita stands next to Kansas signee David McCormack of Oak Hill.
Blaise Keita and David McCormack prepare to go for a rebound.
Isaiah Bujdoso pushes the ball up court.
Carlos Paez waits for the offense to set up.
Malik Hall shoots a contested jumper.
Oak Hill's Keyontae Johnson reacts.
Isaiah Bujdoso of Sunrise dribbles up court.
Malik Hall gets his shot blocked by Oak Hill's BJ Mack.
Malik Hall gestures to the sideline.
Oak Hill coach Steve Smith paces the sideline.
Isaiah Bujdoso, left, and Blake Hinson prepare on defense for Sunrise Academy.
Keldon Jonson, left, and Evan Johnson walk towards the sideline.
Will Richardson matches up on defense.
Sunrise's Blake Hinson keeps an eye on the action.
Oak Hill's Keyontae Johnson drives to the basket.
N'Faly Dante attempts to block Keyontae Johnson's shot.