Nebraska forward giving up basketball for senior season

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(Getty Images)

Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford is giving up basketball for his senior season to further focus on getting his degree, according to a release from the school. The 6-foot-10 forward started 26 games, playing in 30 games overall, and averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Pitchford came to Nebraska after transferring in from Florida. He will work to finish his undergraduate degree in ethnic studies.

“I thank Coach Miles for giving me the opportunity when I transferred from Florida,” Pitchford said in the release. “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. I know my teammates support me on this difficult decision, and I will be there to support them.”

Although Pitchford played more minutes last season than his sophomore campaign, his shooting percentages plummeted. After a sophomore season in which Pitchford shot 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range, those numbers dropped to 37 percent from the field and 28 percent from 3-point range as a junior.

“I completely support Walter in his decision,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said in the release. “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.”