“It’s a real big deal, I’m excited to come back to Pittsburgh and play for my hometown.”
Late this morning, Kevin Stallings added his seventh verbal commitment with Polk State guard and Pittsburgh native Troy Simons.
— Best Kept Secret (@ImUpNext3) March 6, 2017
It took Simons just three days to accept the scholarship offer from the Pitt coaching staff and he couldn’t be happier.
“This is big because of the route it took me to get here. It’s been a long process that I had to go through. I’m just excited to be here and to be able to continue my education and athletic career at Pitt,” said Simon.
The long process that Simons referenced meant five different high schools in four years, being forced to stop playing football and only playing one year of basketball in high school and starting his post high school career at Polk State (Florida).
If you would’ve told him two years ago that he had a chance to eventually play for Pitt, Troy Simons would’ve called you crazy.
“No, I never thought this would happen. I didn’t even know if I’d be going to college to play basketball because I was a football player. Then my high school shutdown and schools stopped recruiting me so I switched to play basketball,” said Simons.
Things worked out for Simons at Polk State where he is currently leading junior college in scoring with 26.3 points per game.
Now, Simons is walking into a situation at Pitt where he’ll be one of seven new faces on the roster but it’s something he’s already dealt with.
“I look forward to it. Actually, I’m used to it because down here at Polk State it was basically the same thing. This year, we had a team of all freshman and I was the only sophomore coming back so I had to lead and try and bring the team together,” said Simons.
The second the 2016-17 season is over with, Stallings is going to rely on guys like Ryan Luther, Cam Johnson and possibly newcomers like Simons to put this nightmare of a season in the rear view mirror.
“I was talking with Coach Stallings Saturday night and he said we need leadership. He said that he doesn’t need anymore players that feel they’re greater than the team. He needs someone that’s going to come in and bring the team together as one.”