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Justin Champagnie earns invite to 2021 NBA combine

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 25 Pitt at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pitt product Justin Champagnie entered the NBA draft in March and declared that he would not return to college in May. And on Tuesday, it was revealed that Champagnie was one of 69 prospects who were extended invitations to next week’s 2021 NBA draft combine.

The NBA combine will be held from next Monday to the following Sunday at Wintrust Arena and the Marriott Marquis in Chicago. Also in attendance will be St. John’s product Julian Champagnie and notable former ACC rivals such as ex-Duke power forward Matthew Hurt and ex-Florida State star Scottie Barnes.

Champagnie is one of 11 former ACC players who is expected to attend the event. He will also be the first Pitt player in four years to take part in the combine. The last Pitt alum to participate in the event was Jamel Artis in 2017. He would go undrafted but has enjoyed a successful professional career overseas. Before Artis, the last Pitt player invited to the combine was Lamar Patterson in 2014.

During the combine, players will showcase their talent for NBA scouts and personnel in five-on-five games and various drills. The five-on-five games will air on ESPN2 and ESPNU from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET next Thursday and Friday. The prospects will also take part in interviews with NBA teams and undergo medical evaluations.

Last season, Champagnie emerged as one of the best players in the nation, as he was the only player in a major conference to average a double-double. He finished his sophomore campaign with averages of 18.0 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. And for his efforts, Champagnie earned first-team All-ACC honors and All-America honorable mention and came in second in ACC Player of the Year voting in 2021.

The NBA combine is an important step in the draft process, as it will give prospects like Champagnie an opportunity to provide NBA decision-makers with a firsthand look at the talent they possess. How well they fare will dictate when or if their name is called at the NBA draft, which will begin on July 29.