Stansbury promotes Cross to assistant coach, Justice to director of player development and video

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – WKU Hilltopper Basketball Head Coach Rick Stansbury announced on Thursday the promotion of martin cross to the assistant coach and the hiring of Justice Camron as director of player development and video to his staff.

“I am delighted to add martin cross and Justice Camron to our staff,” Stansbury said. “Martin has been with our program for six years and has demonstrated an exceptional work ethic and loyalty. I sincerely think that he is a young coach who will continue to evolve in this profession. I’m glad we were able to seize this opportunity for Cam. He came back last year as part of the coaching staff and ended up being a player for us, and his dream has always been to become a coach. We are lucky that this opportunity worked out for him. Once again, I’m thrilled to add them both to our program staff.”

Cross and Justice both have significant experience with Stansbury.

Cross is a native of Albany, Ky., and spent six seasons working under Stansbury as associate director of basketball operations for the program. He will enter his eighth season overall on the WKU staff in 2022-23.

“I am truly honored by this opportunity provided by Coach Stansbury and Todd Stuart“, said Cross. “I want to thank our administrator Zach Greenwell for his support with Phil Cunningham, Marcus Grant and Talvis Franklin for their mentorship. From growing up cheering in the stands of Diddle Arena until today, I can truly say it’s a dream come true. I have great respect and admiration for the tradition of this program, and I couldn’t be more grateful to continue to be part of its continuation.”

Justice finished his college basketball career in 2021-22 with the Hilltoppers. He played for WKU for two separate seasons, separated by a year where he worked full-time in sales and as a college graduate assistant for the program.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by coach Stansbury and Todd Stuart gave me,” Justice said. “I’m excited to take on this new role and stay in Western Kentucky. As a player here, I know what this program is all about and what the expectations are. I’m ready to use my knowledge and experience to help this next group of Hilltoppers in any way I can.”

martin cross is entering his eighth season on the WKU staff and his first as an assistant coach.

During his years on The Hill, Cross was instrumental in the college basketball careers of state Hilltoppers such as Taveion Hollingsworth, carson williamsand Dayvision McKnight among others. Cross has been involved with five Kentucky Mr. Basketballs during his time on the WKU staff, which includes Hollingsworth, Williams, McKnight, Justice Camron and Donaie Allen.

During the 2021-22 season, Cross was able to play an increased role in the personnel with new scouting and recruiting responsibilities. He helped the rest of the coaching staff on the court in major Power Five wins over Ole Miss and Louisville in the non-conference schedule. The team is 19-13 and has won nine of its last 10 league games.

Cross was instrumental in the development of current guard Hilltopper McKnight. McKnight went from averaging 5.8 points and 3.8 assists per game in his first season of 2020-21 to averaging 16.2 points and 5.5 assists per game in his second season . It was then named Conference USA First Team at the end of the year.

Cross served as associate director of basketball operations for the Hilltoppers for six seasons prior to his current role. He helped scout opponents, recruit on campus, coordinate team travel, and assist with the day-to-day operations of the program. He also served as director of summer camps and supervised student-managers at Hilltopper.

Cross spent the 2015-16 season as WKU’s video coordinator after four years as a student manager with the Hilltoppers, during which one of his primary responsibilities was adversarial and self-scouting.

Cross helped lead the Hilltoppers in the 2012 and 2013 NCAA Tournaments as a manager.

Cross earned his bachelor’s degree from WKU in 2015. The Albany, Ky., native graduated from Russell County High School in 2011.

He and his wife Alexa reside in Bowling Green.

Justice is entering his first season with the Hilltoppers after playing for the WKU in two separate seasons.

As Director of Player Development and Video, Justice will focus on the mental and physical development of players in addition to managing video coordination for the program. He will also serve as the director of summer camps and organize videos related to scouting.

Justice joins the Hilltopper staff after his final season playing for WKU. He appeared in 30 games, starting in 26 of those contests, and averaged 14.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 3.2 assists.

His first season playing for WKU was as a graduate transfer in 2019-20 where he scored 10.1 points in 27.6 minutes per game.

Justice played at IUPUI and Vanderbilt before coming to WKU. He averaged 18.6 points in his lone season at Indianapolis where he was named second-team All-Horizon League. He played 27 freshman games at Vandy and appeared in seven as a sophomore before opting for the transfer.

Justice was Kentucky Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015 after being named a four-star prospect by ESPN from Knott County Central High School. He is one of 10 Kentucky Mr. Basketballs to play for the Hilltoppers. Justice led his team to four straight Sweet 16 appearances and averaged 28.5 points per game as a senior.

The Hindman, Ky., native received his bachelor’s degree in engineering and technology from IUPUI and a master’s degree in recreation and sports administration with a concentration in coaching from WKU.

He and his wife Kaylee reside in Bowling Green.

Sara H. Byrd