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DeJuan Blair Talks Pitt Hoops, Potentially Playing for Zoo Crew




On Saturday night, former Pitt basketball star DeJuan Blair joined many other former and current professional athletes, along with several influencers, in Damar Hamlin’s celebrity basketball game.

The game was highly entertaining, with both teams trading impressive buckets throughout the game and Hamlin himself hitting the game-winning buzzer beater from three-point range. In addition, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Russell Wilson showed up at halftime and seemed to have a great time at the event.

After the game, PSN caught up with the hometown hoops star Blair, who has been retired from NBA action since 2016.

Blair played at Pitt for two seasons from 2007-09. In his second and final season in the blue and gold, he averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, earning AP First Team All-American honors for that year. Blair was drafted as the No. 37 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs, who he would play for for the first four years of his professional career. He went on to play seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game throughout his career.

In the interview, Blair spoke about the atmosphere at the celebrity game first.

“It was fun, there was a lot of people out here supporting Damar and his game,” Blair said. “He’s got an awesome weekend. It’s fun, he’s got the kids to come out and play. People who haven’t seen me play in a minute got to see me play, so it was real cool.”

Last year, Blair served as the head coach for Pitt’s alumni team in The Basketball Tournament, ‘Zoo Crew.’ This year, the team is hosting a regional at the Petersen Events Center from July 20-24. Will Blair be the coach again? Will he play in this year’s event?

“I might play this year,” he said. “I’ve got to get in better shape, but I think I could play. It’s going to be at Pitt, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. I might coach, but I told them I might play this year, just one last year.”

Blair then went into detail about his thoughts on the Pitt basketball program, which is coming off a 22-11 season that was not quite enough to make the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s good,” he said. “I know our future is bright. We’ve got some great players, we’ve got coach Cape. We just have to find our identity, man. I feel like it’s too much up and downs, we don’t really know what we’ve got until it’s the end and we start playing good and don’t get into either tournament. It sucks, but we’ll be good man. We’ve just got to keep going. I’m going to be up there a little bit more and try to help them out, and we’ll go from there.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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