Everything Julianne Sutton does revolves around sharing her Christian faith. That includes her standout presence as a sophomore for Flowery Branch.
Sutton, a 6-foot-1 post, is averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game so far this season. Last week, she scored 17 in Friday’s win against Heritage and followed it up with 19 the following day in a come-from-behind win against North Hall.
Not only does Sutton typically lead the Lady Falcons (5-1) in scoring most nights, she’s also just as solid on the defensive and rebounding side of the game, according to Flowery Branch coach Hazel Hall.
“Julianne’s just a special kid,” Hall said. “She’s extremely smart, and the kind of person you show how to do something once and she picks it up.”
Just in her second year of public school, Sutton has been a quick study, even though she said the pace of the game initially seemed much faster when she came to Flowery Branch as a freshman. Sutton’s played basketball since she was in kindergarten, including her three middle school years at North Georgia Christian in South Hall.
In her short time playing Class AAAAA high school basketball, Sutton has quickly weaved her way into the fabric of the Flowery Branch program thanks to her strong individual training.
It doesn’t hurt that she has a knack of going to the basket with both a right-handed and left-handed shot. Also in the early season, Sutton’s had a 16-point outing against Clarke Central, and 11 rebounds in a 23-point win against Riverwood.
For Sutton, though, it’s all about the team as a collective.
“It’s been an awesome year and we have a great group of girls here,” Sutton said. “We’ve really bonded well.
“We’re eager to see how well we can play now the rest of the season.”
Even though Sutton enjoys basketball — and excels at the sport — her primary focus in life is church. She’s already been on two foreign mission trips to share the gospel: one to Thailand and another to Bangladesh.
Her father is a pastor at Blackshear Place Baptist Church, in Oakwood. With plans of traveling abroad in the future, Sutton is in her second year of learning Mandarin Chinese at Flowery Branch. For Sutton, it would be a perfect scenario to weave her love of basketball and faith together in the future.
“I play basketball to be able to share the gospel,” Sutton said.
Sutton has a sister, Jenna, who is one year younger, and a sister Jerra, who is in the sixth grade. In addition, the Sutton family has three foster children, ages 4, 3 and five months.
“Julianne has a wonderful family,” Hall said. “She’s done an amazing job adjusting to the public-school setting.
“I admire the way she’s persevered.”