On Monday night, former Pitt star Justin Champagnie made his NBA scoring debut, dropping two points in the Toronto Raptors’ win over the New York Knicks.
Champagnie finished with two points in the win and also grabbed five rebounds, three of which were offensive. Although he went 0 for 2 from the floor, he did knock down his first two free-throw attempts, earning him his first career points in the association. Champagnie also had an assist and finished with a +/- of 5.
There’s lottery picks already sent to the GLeague. And there’s two-way guys in Jericho Sims and Justin Champagnie getting real NBA minutes. Can’t underestimate fit + need.
— Matt Pennie (@matt_pennie) November 2, 2021
After going un-drafted in July’s draft, Champagnie signed a deal with the Toronto Raptors, and eventually made the team’s opening night roster. While he has been bouncing up and down between the big league squad and the G League affiliate “Raptors 905,” Champagnie was in his hometown of New York City for his debut in Madison Square Garden on Monday, and provided good solid minutes.
“A good friend of mine is the associate head coach there, and after the first few days of practice for summer league he texts me and [says that] he fits our culture, he’s exactly what we’re about,” Pitt head coach Jeff Capel said about Champagnie. “Then he said something that made my jaw drop, like, how good, how hard he is working defensively. That kind of blew me away. I am proud of him, I am happy for him, and I think he is going to do a fantastic job.”