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Nike Sibande: Joining Pitt and Playing In ACC Is ‘Dream Come True’

Nike Sibande: Joining Pitt and Playing In ACC Is ‘Dream Come True’

Most people assumed Jeff Capel was finished recruiting for this year, but that wasn’t the case as the Panthers added a high level scorer.

Former Miami University (Ohio) guard Nike Sibande announced Saturday that he would play his final season of college basketball eligibility with the Pitt Panthers.

After months of considering options such Georgia, Georgetown, Xavier, Alabama and Arkansas, Sibande decided that the best option for his future would be to play for Capel and Pitt.

”During my recruiting process, a lot of schools reached out to me and it was getting stressful so I decided to announce a Top 5 so that I could just focus on those schools,” Sibande told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “But throughout that process, I had been talking to Coach Capel and Pitt too and after I announced my Top 5, my relationship with Coach Capel really grew and it was better than with any other coach that I was talking with. That’s what made me believe and trust in him and ended up deciding on him and Pitt.”

”Coach was telling me about Pitt’s rich culture and deep history. He was also honest telling me that it would be a grind and that I’d have to fight. I’m love that and am always up for a challenge. I know Pitt has a lot of guys that I’ll have to compete against but we also have a chance to grow and to get better together.”

Following the season, Capel was searching through the transfer market for a player with the ability to create his own shot as well as be a threat behind the 3-point arc and got that today in Sibande.

”He told me that’s a reason why Pitt would be a good fit for me because I’m a decent size guard that can score,” Sibande said. “Pitt added a hard nosed dude that can defend at a high level and I can definitely help scoring wise. I’m a shooter and I can fill it up that also likes to get his teammates involved.”

The other selling point for Sibande was knowing that he’d have the opportunity to play against some of the best players and teams in the storied ACC.

”For me, this is a dream come true,” said Sibande. “I’ve been wanting to play night in and night out against those type of schools for my entire life. I’ve had to build myself and my game up to be able to do that and now that I’m going to be able to do it, it’s really a dream come true.”

We know that’s Sibande will play for Pitt but the question is when? The current situation is that he’ll be forced to sit out this coming season but Pitt will seek to get a waiver from the NCAA which would allow him to play immediately. Is Sibande optimistic about receiving the waiver?

”I’m not going to give any percentages, I’m just going to leave it up to God,” he said. “If he wants me to play now then I will. It would be perfect to play this season but if I have to sit out, I’ll be prepared for that and live with it.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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