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Jun. 16—Former Pitt forward Justin Champagnie will take the next step toward the NBA — perhaps the most significant one — after accepting an invitation to participate in the NBA Draft Combine that starts Monday and continues through June 27 at the Wintrust Arena and Marriott Marquis in Chicago.
"I am excited about this next step in my journey," Champagnie said in a statement released by Pitt. "The combine will be a great opportunity to test myself against other players in this draft class and put my hard work on display for all the teams in attendance.
"I was able to elevate my play this season at Pitt and work my way into the NBA Draft. I have continued to put in the work in preparation for this opportunity and look forward to making the most of it."
He will be joined by 10 other ACC players and his twin brother, Julian, who played at St. John's.
Champagnie, an Associated Press honorable mention All-America and Pitt's first first-team All-ACC choice as a sophomore, is one of 69 players selected to participate in 5-on-5 games, strength and agility testing, shooting drills, measurements and other on-court evaluations.
A native of Brooklyn, Champagnie finished second in the league in scoring (an average of 18 points per game) and first in rebounds (11.1).
Champagnie posted an ACC-best 14 double-doubles, including eight games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. He also had 20/20 games against Northwestern and Gardner-Webb and joined Blake Griffin (Oklahoma) and Caleb Swanigan (Purdue) as the only major conference players in the past 25 seasons to record such games back-to-back.
He returned from a knee injury in January and scored 24 points, with 16 rebounds, against Syracuse before recording an impressive stat line of 31 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks against Duke. He missed only three of 15 shots from the field against the Blue Devils.
ESPN2 (June 24) and ESPNU (June 25) will provide coverage of 5-on-5 games from 3-7 p.m. each day.
The NBA Draft is scheduled for July 29.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .