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New to the Zoo: Jalen Hood-Schifino commits to Pitt

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The Pittsburgh native holds a five-star rating from ESPN

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When Jeff Capel came to Pitt from Duke, he brought with him a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the nation. Overnight, he lived up to that billing, as he secured a commitment from one of the top recruits in the 2022 class. That commitment came from Pittsburgh native Jalen Hood-Schifino, who announced that he would attend Pitt in an Instagram post.

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”I would like to thank all the schools interested in me and who have offered me,” Hood-Schifino wrote in the post. “I think I’m a unique player, and Coach Capel is a unique coach. I’ve decided to verbally commit to the University of Pittsburgh. Going back to my hometown is a great option and will be a great story.”

The 6’4”, 185-pound shooting guard holds a five-star rating from ESPN in addition to four-star ratings from both 247Sports and Rivals. Hood-Schifino is the No. 17 recruit in the nation, according to Rivals, but ESPN ranks him at No. 24 and 247Sports has him at No. 33. The guard is the highest-rated recruit Capel has landed since he was hired by Pitt in 2018.

Hood-Schifino held offers from 10 schools and chose Pitt over Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Virginia Tech and Wichita State. Ole Miss was also involved in his recruitment but fell short despite beating out Pitt for junior college prospect Khadim Sy in May.

The elite guard currently plays at Combine Academy in Lincolnton, North Carolina. Last season, he played at Northside Christian Academy in Charlotte, where he averaged 13.0 points, 4.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds as a freshman on a team that went 23-12. Hood-Schifino grew up in Penn Hills but has divided his time between the Charlotte and Pittsburgh areas since he was 7 years old. His uncle Drew Schifino is the leading scorer in the history of Penn Hills High School, with 2,320 points, and he went on to play at West Virginia.