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Pitt Basketball

Justin Champagnie Working on Shooting, Ball Handling in Preparation for NBA Draft



Ever since Justin Champagnie declared for the NBA Draft back in March, he has been constantly in the gym working on his game and on flights working out for NBA teams, hoping to leave a lasting impression.

For a guy who averaged 18 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game in the ACC, Champagnie has not received as much draft buzz as other players from the conference, mostly due to his 6-foot-6 frame and the play-style that he showcased in college. However, since he started working out for NBA teams, Champagnie has been receiving great feedback from them and is working on what they want him to improve on.

“My shooting, definitely, and then my ball handling,” Champagnie said when asked what teams have told him to work on. “But, you know, not crazy ball handling, because teams already have guys that do all of that stuff. Just being able to take one to three dribbles and get a shot for myself or create for a teammate. That’s really about it, being able to knock down open shots, and come in and always be ready.”

Champagnie, took home First Team All-ACC honors this past year, and finished his Pitt career off with 779 points and 453 rebounds. He shot 45% from the field in his Pitt career as well as 28% from three-point range and 75% from the free-throw line. Despite the accolades and impressive stats, many thought Champagnie was not ready for the league.

However, he felt differently.

“I just felt like I was ready,” Champagnie went on. “I believe in myself, my coaches believed in me, my family. I just had that feeling. It was the same feeling I got when I decided to choose Pitt, that’s what it was for me. I just kind of knew it was time for me.”

The NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, July 29.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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