At last, July 29 is here.
On Thursday, the basketball world shifts its focus to Draft night, where former Pitt star Justin Champagnie and many other prospects hope to see their name called by commissioner Adam Silver.
Since his announcement to test the NBA draft waters back on March 23, the 6-foot-6 Champagnie has worked out for numerous NBA teams, and even heard from one team that they would pick him if he was still available.
Champagnie had a stellar two-year career at Pitt, which included First Team All-ACC honors this year after averaging 18 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. If he is picked on Thursday, he will become the 29th Pitt player ever to be drafted, as well as the 28th player (non-Pitt related) who played for Jeff Capel to be drafted.
“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 back on May 10 when he officially entered the draft. “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.”
The NBA draft in Brooklyn will kick off on ABC and ESPN for the first round at 8 p.m. ET, with coverage of the second round shifting to only ESPN.