Because of Pitt, Habakkuk Baldonado Feels Ready to Proceed Defying the Odds
LAS VEGAS – While you come from a program like Pitt that’s produced so many high quality professionals over time, it’s solely pure to really feel a way of confidence that you simply’re as ready as potential.
That is one thing Habakkuk Baldonado clearly believes as he continues the journey that he hopes takes him to the NFL. And Baldonado’s expertise on the Shrine Bowl has offered a way of affirmation of this perception too.
“I believe Pitt is among the finest faculties by way of this. Coach Duzz (Pat Narduzzi) and Coach (Charlie) Partridge like to say that we act like we’re professionals. So, the whole lot we do is rather like the professionals. So, the way in which we method conferences, the way in which we examine the sport, meals, the whole lot that goes in,” Baldonado detailed whereas being interviewed by Mike Asti reside in Las Vegas on the East-West Shrine Bowl, per week’s price of observe and a recreation that enables one of the best school gamers to absorb data from one another, in addition to NFL coaches and gauge their recreation compared of their friends and the place it must be to realize success within the NFL.
It’s not nearly how Pitt taught him be a professional in school however about having the ability to use the present Pitt alumni as sources. “Individuals like Patrick Jones or Rashad Weaver. I discuss to them on a regular basis,” Baldonado stated, then together with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and Pitt nice Kenny Pickett within the mixture of established NFL gamers he communicates with.
Regardless that Baldonado feels as ready as potential, no participant will be capable of know what the NFL is like till he will get there. However Baldonado could have a leg up on coping with a tradition shock scenario. After being born and raised in Rome, Italy, Baldonado moved to the USA in 2017 to attend highschool in Florida and ship himself on a path that may seemingly land him within the NFL. Not solely was Baldonado tasked with incorporating his athletic skills into the sport of soccer in his solely highschool season at Clearwater Academy Worldwide in Clearwater, Florida, however he was additionally having to transition to life in America.
Baldonado acclimated to the American tradition, which included studying a brand new language, one he speaks fluently now, and likewise confirmed expertise on the sphere that led to receiving the eye of a significant program, particularly one with a protracted historical past of churning out NFL expertise in Pitt.
Quick ahead to 2023, and he has his stellar school profession behind him and the promising chance of extra soccer forward. So, as he continues his unbelievable journey, Baldonado has already proved he can accomplish something he units his thoughts to it doesn’t matter what form of odds are in opposition to him. Now think about what’s going to occur when he goes after a aim whereas totally ready.
Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, Aidan Fisch Set to Depart Pitt Basketball Program
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The enjoying careers of guards Nelly Cummings, Jamarius Burton, Greg Elliott, Nike Sibande, and ahead Aidan Fisch have come to an finish.
The No. 11 seeded Panthers fell 84-73 to the No. 3 Xavier Musketeers Sunday afternoon in Greensboro, North Carolina, formally concluding the enjoying days of a bunch that helped Pitt return to prominence within the faculty basketball panorama.
The group guided Pitt again to the NCAA Match for the primary time in seven years and the primary March Insanity win since 2014. The Panthers additionally broke a string of two,591 days with out being ranked, courting again to the 2015-16 season. Projected to complete 14th within the ACC Preseason Ballot, Pitt concluded the common season fifth and had an opportunity to win the convention getting into the ultimate sport.
A Midland, Pennsylvania native and Lincoln Park alum, Nelly Cummings completed his faculty profession again dwelling enjoying for the College of Pittsburgh and manning the purpose for 2 event victories. Cummings started his profession at Bowling Inexperienced, scoring 109 factors as a freshman earlier than transferring to Colgate for 3 seasons.
He flourished at Colgate, scoring 1,003 factors in three seasons and main the Raiders in factors in the course of the group’s 2021 (14) and 2022 (20) NCAA Match video games. Cummings began all 36 video games for the Panthers throughout Pitt’s unimaginable turnaround season and as soon as once more led his group in scoring in the course of the First 4 (15) and First Spherical (13). He averaged 11.1 factors and 4.75 assists per sport and scored 401 factors in a Panther uniform, eclipsing the 1,500-point plateau in opposition to Iowa State.
“PITTSBURGH!! Thank y’all for every little thing H2P for all times! This yr was nothing wanting particular -Zero Out,” Cummings posted on Twitter.
PITTSBURGH!! Thank y’all for every little thing💛💙 H2P for all times! This yr was nothing wanting particular ✌🏾 -Zero Out 🥷🏾 pic.twitter.com/4NYnWh6aSr
— Nelly Cummings (@Ambition___0) March 20, 2023
Jamarius Burton earned First Staff All-ACC honors as one among 5 gamers averaging 15.5 factors, 4.5 rebounds, and 4.0 assists all through the nation. Earlier than turning into the second Pitt participant to earn the highest convention group nod, Burton began his enjoying days at Wichita State, scoring 530 profession factors in 67 video games (52 begins) over two seasons. Burton left the Shockers for Texas Tech getting into the 2020-21 season, scoring an excellent 100 factors and averaging a career-low 4.3 factors per sport.
His greatest seasons got here donning a Pitt uniform. Burton eclipsed the 1,500-point mark in opposition to Iowa State. He averaged 12.4 factors, 3.5 rebounds, and a couple of.5 assists in 30 video games (26 begins) final season. Through the 2022-23 marketing campaign, Burton began all 34 video games he appeared in, setting marks of 15.2 factors, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per sport, additionally reaching the 1,500-point milestone going through the Cyclones.
Greg Elliott got here to Oakland as a graduate pupil following 4 years at Marquette. He totaled 644 factors in 4 seasons, enjoying a restricted position for the Golden Eagles and averaging 5.6 factors per sport. He blossomed at Pitt and surpassed 1,000 profession factors in the course of the First 4 win. A risk from behind the arc, Elliott shot 42% from three and 87% on the free throw line, averaging 10.4 factors and 4.0 rebounds at Pitt. His profession concludes with over 380 rebounds and 170 made threes.
Extraordinarily pleased with what we have been capable of accomplish this season. This was actually a particular group. Every participant embraced coach Capel as our chief. Our locker room had gamers with a excessive degree of character & dedication. The ‘22-23 squad will all the time be remembered as winners!👏🏽❤️#H2P pic.twitter.com/sBYahU61P1
— Milan Brown (@coachmbrown) March 20, 2023
A redshirt senior in his sixth yr of faculty ball, Nike Sibande scored 1,463 factors in three seasons at Miami (Ohio), beginning 95 of 97 video games and averaging 15.1 factors per sport. Sibande scored 97 factors within the 2020-21 Covid-shortened season, beginning eight of 14 complete video games. He missed the next yr with a torn ACL sustained within the lone exhibition sport main as much as his ultimate yr of eligibility however returned for the 2022-23 season for his greatest in a Panther uniform.
Sibande scored 304 factors because the Panthers’ sixth man and the very best within the convention, profitable ACC Sixth Man of the 12 months honors. He posted 15 double-figure video games and averaged 8.3 factors and three.9 rebounds in the course of the common season to run away with the crown. Sibande ended his profession with 1,864 complete factors and 680 rebounds.
Initially a group supervisor, Aidan Fisch walked on to the Pitt program and performed in 16 complete video games spanning three seasons, incomes a scholarship his season yr. The Murrysville, Pa native, and Franklin Regional graduate scored his first factors this season, together with the ultimate basket in opposition to Syracuse on senior evening.
The gang went wild when Aidan Fisch scored 👏 pic.twitter.com/PugNpyumUI
— ACC Community (@accnetwork) February 26, 2023
“The previous 4 years with [Pitt men’s basketball] have been greater than I may’ve ever dreamed of. To all my coaches, I’m eternally grateful that you just took an opportunity on me and an enormous thanks to all of the wonderful teammates, managers, and followers that made these 4 years what they have been. H2P,” Fisch mentioned on Twitter.
The previous 4 years with @Pitt_MBB have been greater than I may’ve ever dreamed of. To all my coaches, I’m eternally grateful that you just took an opportunity on me and an enormous thanks to all of the wonderful teammates, managers, and followers that made these 4 years what they have been. H2P 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/v1gC6ahSLM
— Aidan Fisch (@fischtank13) March 20, 2023
Gone however actually not quickly forgotten, Pitt’s 5 graduates modified the tradition and started what the Panthers hope to be a brand new period of Pitt basketball for years to come back.
The Frank Walker Regulation/PSN Every day Pocket book- March 20
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**A pleasant debut for Penn State freshman and Sewickley Academy grad Adin Zorn, as he homers in Penn State’s opener.
Beginning the HS season off with a bang!@PennStateBASE signee @adinz0920 hits an absolute 💣 down in Myrtle Seashore within the season opener.#dawgsfamily #dawgstrong #compete #areyounext pic.twitter.com/Lf0vRoDIY3
— PITTSBURGH DIAMOND DAWGS BASEBALL (@PghDawgs) March 20, 2023
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**This Friday, Pitt will likely be getting visits from Javier Etheridge and Jaimier Scott, each from Mt. Wholesome Excessive College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Etheridge is a 2024 3-star athlete with gives from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Indiana, Duke and plenty of MAC colleges. Scott can be within the Class of 2024 with a proposal listing that features Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Purdue, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Duke and plenty of MAC colleges. Randy Bates is the chief recruiter for each Etheridge and Scott.
Pitt Has Constructed Sturdy Basis With Quickly Rising 2024 OL Goal Aidan Lynch
Aidan Lynch was being pursued by the likes of Military, UConn, UMass, Previous Dominion, Temple, Princeton and Yale as he entered the month of March, however his recruiting course of has actually picked up over the past two weeks.
Within the month of March alone, he’s picked up gives from Boston School, Georgia, Penn State Pitt, Stanford and West Virginia — and it’s simply been a blessing for the Lynch household.
Lynch — a 6-foot-7, 275-pound offensive lineman from Mount Olive Excessive in Mount Olive, New Jersey — picked up his second Energy 5 supply from Pitt, simply after Georgia supplied, and it was a very long time coming.
“I’ve been speaking to them for some time now, and so they have been really the primary Energy 5 faculty to achieve out to me, so it was fairly cool simply to construct a relationship general and as soon as they shot that supply my means, it was fairly unbelievable,” Lynch informed PSN.
After an important name with @CoachTimSalem, I’m proud to say that I’ve obtained a suggestion from @Pitt_FB! #H2P @CoachBorbs @mtolivefootball @OConnorMOFB @247Sports @On3sports pic.twitter.com/QLhnjxj1QX
— Aidan Lynch (@AidanJLynchMOHS) March 5, 2023
The supply itself, from tight ends coach Tim Salem, arrived in a means that Lynch didn’t count on both.
He had simply woken up, proper round midday because it was a Saturday and he had a uncommon second to sleep in, so when Salem referred to as him, he wasn’t absolutely awake but. Salem informed him that Pitt’s teaching workers had put collectively a listing of gamers, and every participant had a letter subsequent to his title. S, A, and so on.
Salem informed Lynch that he had an S subsequent to his title. What do you suppose meaning, he requested Lynch. “And I’m like, ‘Particular?’ Me being drained, I believed it was one thing silly, I didn’t actually perceive it, after which he goes no, scholarship. So, it was fairly humorous and a fairly cool expertise general.”
Lynch has been capable of construct an excellent relationship with Salem and offensive line coach Dave Borbely, by constant communication over the past yr, and he’s additionally visited Pitt twice — as soon as for Pitt’s victory over Duke final November and as soon as for Pitt’s Junior Day in January.
Salem has been his lead recruiter, a really humorous — and a bit in every single place — type of man, and he’s spoken lots with Borbely — who could be his place coach at Pitt. “Borbely is a tricky coach, and he’s gonna coach you effectively, however he’s additionally a very good man,” Lynch stated. “He’s a household man. It’s cool to speak to him, to know him and his philosophies and all that stuff.”
“He loves my athleticism and my bend,” Lynch stated. “For me, I’m really a bit on the slimmer aspect for what he stated he’s recruited prior to now, however he stated that’s aided me a bit as effectively as a result of for me personally, I play lacrosse proper at times I simply stopped enjoying basketball this previous yr, so I’ve actually been capable of develop in that sense for a few years now.”
Lynch holds down the left aspect of the road at Mount Olive, serving because the left sort out, and also you’re simply capable of see the uncooked power in a protracted, lean body. He’s able to including weight to his body, too. There’s lots of untapped potential for the following stage.
Not one of the main recruiting providers have rated Lynch but, however as he’s blown up this month and can doubtless proceed to take action because the spring rolls into the summer season, it’s solely a matter of time earlier than he jumps up recruiting rankings.
Lynch was purported to make a visit out to Pittsburgh for this week’s spring apply slate, however as New Jersey was hit with a heavy dose of snow, along with his grandparents needing assist, he wanted to reschedule. There isn’t a date deliberate but, but it surely’s very doubtless he’ll be making a go to out to Pittsburgh for the third time this spring.
And within the meantime, he has visits scheduled to Penn State, Georgia, Military, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and West Virginia within the coming weeks.
Lynch plans to commit within the late Might, early June window, proper after making just a few official visits, so it will likely be necessary to get him again out to Pittsburgh a minimum of as soon as extra earlier than then. Nonetheless, as his course of stands now, Pitt is sitting inside his Prime 3.
“I’ve visited Pitt twice now,” Lynch stated. “I really like the amenities, sharing with the Steelers might be one of many coolest issues I’ve ever seen on this course of, as a result of simply the general admiration you acquire for — you take a look at the hallways and subsequent to you is a Pittsburgh Steeler and also you get to know what they did and the grind it took to get there, and you may put your thoughts to that.
“Total, the lecturers at Pitt, the soccer general, the individuals at Pitt have actually made it a best choice for me.”
Pitt has landed 5 commits within the class of 2024, however there hasn’t been an offensive lineman to commit but. Pitt will doubtless look to land a handful of commits on the offensive line this cycle.
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