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Justin Champagnie Signs with Agent; Won’t Return to Pitt



Pitt wing Justin Champagnie has signed with Life Sports Agency for representation at the professional level, and will keep his name in the 2021 NBA Draft and not return to college, he announced via social media.

“I love this school,” Champagnie said in an Instagram post. “I’ll forever bleed blue and gold. This decision didn’t come easy.”


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A post shared by Justin champagnie (@jchampagnie)

“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,” Champagnie said in a press release distributed by Pitt. “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, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder from the 2020-21 season, placed his name into the field for the 2021 NBA Draft in March. He was a first-team All-ACC and honorable mention All-American, while being the lone major-conference player to average a double-double last season.

“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,” head coach Jeff Capel said in a statement. “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.”

As part of the reforms surrounding that process made by the NCAA in response to the college basketball pay-for-play scandal, players can now return to school after entering the draft process and even after signing with an agent. In order for Champagnie to retain his eligibility, he must have applied for feedback from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Council and not accept benefits from his agency other those expressly permitted by the NCAA. Champagnie should get his feedback from the UAC by May 30, which will contain guidance on whether he is expected to be a lottery pick, taken in the second half of the first round, first or second half of the second round, or to go undrafted. 

Champagnie will participate in the NBA G-League Elite Camp June 19-21 and the NBA Draft Combine June 21-27, and can also participate in private workouts with NBA teams. If he wants to return to Pitt, Champagnie must make the decision by 11:59 p.m. on July 7. The 2021 NBA Draft will be held on July 29.


Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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dennis wagner
2 years ago

If there is a player less ready for the NBA than Justin I haven’t seen him. It is what families, coaches, and agents fill in the kid’s head. Justin played center in high school and never adapted his game beyond that at Pitt. No 6’6″ centers in NBA, European, or D leagues. He just destroyed his basketball future and left with no degree. Chapel should be fired for being dishonest with this kid, and not protecting Hugley from the temptations of being BMOC. That’s his and the coach’s job. Chapel has shown he can not recruit or coach and should… Read more »

2 years ago
Reply to  dennis wagner

There are a lot of things you can point the finger at when it comes to Capel (not Chapel). For instance, the drama causing multiple players to leave was his responsibility to address and correct before it got that far. However, Justin declaring for the draft is not on him. I’m sure he has told him the “truth”. (At least what he hears from people in the league.) At the end of the day, Justin is most likely making this decision based on two factors. Money, and risk of losing draft stock. He had a good year, he’s not sure… Read more »

Krackerjack Kid
Krackerjack Kid
2 years ago

Capel has shown he can’t coach in-game and he’s is proving to be a divisive leader. He’s more worried about “social justice” issues rather than building a strong program.

All I have heard from his guy is excuses.

He’s won NINE ACC games since his arrival.

He’s got great facilities. A good budget. Plays in a elite conference. Has everything in place to be competitive. Yet, his teams have been in a continuous rebuild since his arrival.

What’s going on!

2 years ago

You’re a little off on that win total. 15 acc wins. Still not good, obviously, but he inherited a serious dumpster fire. A zero acc win team that rarely looked competitive or even interested, and then most of those players left. Not an overnight fix. I seriously question if he can manage people after all the turmoil last year, but you can’t underestimate the shitshow he took over.

James from Florida
James from Florida
2 years ago

I wish him the best but he is a long shot to make the NBA, more likely he will play professional basketball overseas.

2 years ago

A player signing with an agent ,as JC has
done, is no longer eligible to play college
basketball. JC is probably headed
for the G league where the average salary
is $ 35M,or $ 7500/mo.The one
possible benefit to him is that he may
receive the type of coaching in the G
league from an NBA related coach more geared to the pro game than from a college coach who has never played or coached in the NBA.

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