“My goal is to turn Madison East High School girls’ basketball program into a championship-winning team. That’s something that we’re going to have to work towards over the years,” Alysha Justice tells Madison365, “and I’m looking forward to it.”
Madison East athletic director T.J. Rogness announced Tuesday that Justice had accepted an offer to become the next girls’ head coach. Justice, a former four-year starter for the Purgolder basketball program, is excited to be going back home to where it all began for her. “I’m excited to be going back to my alma mater. Honestly, it’s like a dream come true. It’s something that I always wanted to do,” says Justice, a 2014 graduate of Madison East.
Justice was the head coach for also the Madison East freshmen girls’ head coach back in 2016-17.
“I knew that I always wanted to end back up that East. I didn’t know when that opportunity would present itself. But it happened this year and I saw it so I decided to go for it and I knew that this is where I always wanted to end up,” she says.
Purgolders Girls Basketball – Excited to announce Alysha Justice (Class of '14) as the next Head Girls Basketball Coach for @MadisonEastHS
— Eastside Athletics (@MEAthletics) May 31, 2022
She will take over for Ronda McLin, who is now the new girls’ basketball coach at Sun Prairie West.
“When it comes to coaching, what I really love is being able to help our youth,” Justice says. “I want to share my experiences with my players of what I went through and I love that I’m able to do this with my athletes and help them get through situations … like when I injured myself in high school, for example. I tore both of my ACLs in high school – one during my sophomore year and then one my junior summer going into my senior year. So I missed a lot of basketball in my life and just going through that adversity and being able to help athletes get through tough situations from grades to injuries themselves. I just love being able to give back and help people learn from my experiences.”
Justice scored more than 1,000 points in her career at East, despite missing significant time to those two devastating injuries.
After high school, Justice attended Highland Community College, a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I program, on a full scholarship where she was a two-time All-America selection (2014-15 and 2015-16), the first so honored in school history.
In addition to being the freshman head coach at Madison East during the 2016-17 season, Justice has also been a varsity assistant coach in McFarland and Sun Prairie. She currently is a special education assistant at Sun Prairie Westside Elementary School.
But there is something about being a Purgolder again and the “Eastside Pride” that comes with it that really excites Justice.
“It’s the alumni. It’s the community. It’s bringing back that feeling that I know has gotten lost over the years with everything that’s been going on,” she says. “My goal in getting this head coaching job for the girls’ basketball program is bringing that back that community feel, that ‘Purgolder Pride,’ the feeling where everyone feels included in things and feel safe. It’s a little hard to explain, but it’s a different feeling just wearing that purple and gold and it is just so important … just repping where you come from.”
One of her priorities, she adds, will be to build back the culture of what “Eastside Pride” means. “I’m looking forward to getting girls back into play and making sure that we have three levels [of basketball]. So when I was coaching, I was the freshman coach, and I had to go out and recruit girls to have a freshman team. And since I left that position, there hasn’t been a freshman team since then,” Justice says.
“So my goal coming in is to try to get three levels –, get the JV, the varsity, the JV one the JV two levels, trying to create more girls coming out to play basketball,” she adds. “That’s honestly my short-term goal … just making sure that we’re creating the culture and the family feel that I believe in and get any athletes that play sports playing. I’m very excited about the opportunity.”