Huskers PF Walter Pitchford declines Sr. year

Nebraska starting power forward Walter Pitchford will forgo his senior year, focusing on school instead.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska announced on Tuesday Walter Pitchford, a starter the past two seasons, has decided to forgo his final season of eligibility. The former Florida transfer will stay enrolled in school and focus on graduating.

“I thank Coach Miles for giving me the opportunity when I transferred from Florida,” Pitchford said in a statement. “I have learned a lot about myself in the three years I’ve been at Nebraska and it is not an easy decision to give up playing basketball. I believe it is in the best interest of both the team and myself that I devote my time to completing my degree at Nebraska and eventually go into a career in business.

“I appreciate all the support I have received from the coaching staff, my teammates and the fans during my time at Nebraska and it has become home for me,” Pitchford said. “I know my teammates support me on this difficult decision, and I will be there to support them.”

Pitchford, who averaged 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds a game this season, struggled at times to find his shot this season. The junior’s field goal percentage dropped nearly 10 percentage points this season, after shooting over 47 percent in 2013-14.

“I completely support Walter in his decision,” Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles said in the same statement. “It shows a great deal of courage for a young man to see his career path and pursue it. I know leaving behind basketball is not easy for Walter or his family, but I also believe this is the best thing for Walt because it targets what he wants to do.”

The decision by Pitchford opens up one scholarship for Nebraska to take a signee during the late signing period.

In the classroom, Pitchford is a two-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll member.

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