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New to the Zoo: Justin Champagnie commits to Pitt

Pitt was bounced from the ACC tournament by Syracuse on Wednesday night, but Panthers head coach Jeff Capel was the recipient of some positive news on Thursday morning, as Justin Champagnie announced his commitment to the program in a message posted on Instagram.

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I’m coming

A post shared by Justin Champagnie (@jchampagnie) on

”I first off want to thank all the schools that have recruited me over the past four years of my high school career,” Champagnie said. “I also want to thank my family for their constant support and dedication to my development as a player, person and student. I want to thank my first AAU coach, Coach Harry, for seeing the potential in me from day one. I want to thank Bishop Laughlin and New Heights. All the coaches that I’ve come across in these two programs have helped me become the player I am today. With all of that being said, I am extremely excited to say that next year I will be attending the University of Pittsburgh.”

Champagnie hails from Brooklyn, New York, where he and his twin brother Julian Champagnie have been standout contributors at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. Justin Champagnie will reclassify from the 2020 class and join Pitt in the upcoming season, but his brother will commit to a program next year, according to Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.

The 6’6”, 205-pound small forward holds a three-star rating from Rivals and a four-star rating from the 247Sports composite.

Champagnie chose Pitt over at least 15 other schools, including Cincinnati, Dayton, Seton Hall, St. Louis and Rutgers. But putting ratings and offers aside, the most telling detail about him is his on-court performance, which helped launch Bishop Loughlin from the 4,099th team in the nation in the 2017-18 season to the 98th-ranked team in the 2018-19 season, according to MaxPreps. Over that span, the team also improved to 23-4 from 10-17.

In his junior year, Champagnie averaged 16.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 27 games. Greg Thompson of News 12 Brooklyn shared footage of him in action.

At Pitt, he should see action early, as he could provide a much-needed boost to an offense that has been prone to lulls and inconsistency in the 2018-19 season.