Champagnie to Enter NBA Draft; Sign with Certified Agent
PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh sophomore Justin Champagnie will enter the 2021 NBA Draft and hire and NCAA-certified agent after averaging 18.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game last season for the Panthers. He is Pitt’s first early entry into the NBA Draft since 2013 when Steven Adams was selected No. 12 overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“My parents and my family have been my biggest supporters and they have made a lot of sacrifices to help put me in this position,” said Champagnie. “I am excited about the opportunity to pursue my NBA dreams and be in a position to pay them back for everything they have invested in me. The University of Pittsburgh has elevated me on and off the court. I love Coach Capel, the entire coaching staff and my teammates and will always be proud of the relationships I have built over the past two seasons. It was a difficult decision because Pitt has been such a special place in my development. I am going to miss the passionate support of the fans, especially the Oakland Zoo, but I know it is time to begin my professional career. I am prepared to take the next step, accept the next challenge and put in the work it takes to succeed at the next level.”
Champagnie, a first team All-ACC and honorable mention All-America selection, was the lone major conference player in the country to average a double-double for the season. He ranked among the conference leaders in nine categories and finished in the top 10 in the NCAA in rebounding (T-7th – 11.1 rpg.) and double-doubles (T-8th – 14).
“Justin has been a terrific member of our program for the past two years and has earned the opportunity to be a NBA Draft selection,” said head coach Jeff Capel. “He put together an outstanding season under some difficult circumstances last year, earning All-America recognition and becoming Pitt’s first First Team All-ACC selection. We are proud of the way he has developed within the Pitt program and excited to see him continue to evolve as a player. Justin’s competitiveness, toughness and desire to help his family will continue to be driving factors in helping his game reach new levels. I believe he is just scratching the surface of the player he can become and look forward to watching him carve out a lengthy pro career. Justin has our love and support and will always be a part of the Pitt family.”
Pitt has had 28 NBA Draft picks, including eight first round selections in program history. Capel has mentored 27 draft picks throughout his coaching career, including 18 first round selections and 10 lottery picks.
- Became one of just five players in program history to record over 700 points and 400 rebounds through their sophomore season.
- Ranks seventh at Pitt in scoring through sophomore season … his 14.7 points per game average is tied for the second best at Pitt through sophomore season (minimum 40 games played).
- Became the first player in program history to lead the team in scoring as a freshman and as a sophomore … just the fifth player in program history to lead the team in scoring and rebounds in consecutive seasons.
- Joined Sam Clancy and DeJuan Blair as the only Panthers to lead the team in rebounding in their freshman and sophomore seasons.
- Became the first Panther to average a double-double for the season since DeJuan Blair (2008-09) and the first player to average better than 18 points and 10 rebounds per game since Billy Knight (1973-74). At 18.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per game,
- Scored in double figures in all 20 games played in the 2020-21 season to join Clyde Vaughan (1983), Larry Harris (1976- 78), Billy Knight (1974) and Don Hennon (1958) as the only players in program history to score 10 or more points in every game played in a season.
- Recorded 24 points and 21 rebounds against Gardner-Webb to join Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) and Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) as the only players in the past 25 years with consecutive 20/20 games.
- One of six ACC players in the ACC since 1970 to record two or more 20/20 games in a season … Tim Duncan (Wake Forest) was the last ACC player to accomplish the feat during the 1996-97 season.
- The first ACC player to record consecutive 20/20 games since Tom Burleson (NC State) during the 1971-72 season.
- Joined some elite company with his 20-point, 20-rebound game at Northwestern, posting the 14th 20/20 game in program history … recorded 20 points and 20 rebounds, while playing all 40 minutes in a 71-70 win at Northwestern to become just the fourth major conference player in the past 25 years to accomplish that feat.
- Posted the 13th and 14th 20/20 games in the ACC over the past 25 seasons … at 6-6, he is the shortest player in that span to register a 20-20 game.
- Recorded 31 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots in a home win over Duke to become the first player in program history to record 30+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ blocks in a game … went 12-of-15 from the field with four three-point field goals in the contest.
- The 30/10 game against Duke was the 28th such game in program history and the first since Sam Young tallied 31 points and 10 rebounds against Connecticut March, 7, 2009.
- Scored 24 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a home win over Syracuse after missing the previous two games with a knee injury suffered in practice on Dec. 20.
- Delivered 23 points and 10 rebounds against North Carolina. He went 7-of-9 from the fi eld, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, in the contest.
2020-21 HONORS & AWARDS
- AP Honorable Mention All-America
- Dick Vitale/ESPN Second Team All-America
- USBWA All-District II
- NABC First Team All-District
- Basketball Times All-District (Northeast)
- First Team All-ACC
- ACC Player of the Year (HoopsHD.com)
- Karl Malone Award Finalist
- Naismith Trophy Midseason Team
- Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List Naismith
- Defensive POTY Watch List
- Dick Vitale Midseason First Team All-America
- ACC Player of the Week (Jan. 25)
- ACC Co-Player of the Week (Jan. 18)
- ACC Player of the Week (Dec. 14)
- Dick Vitale/ESPN National Player of the Week (Dec. 14)
- College Sports Madness ACC & National POTW (Dec. 14)
(Story and Information Courtesy of Pitt Athletics/ Photos Courtesy of Vince Butts UMT-Sports)