Lincoln – University of Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford announced Monday that he is giving up his final season of eligibility with the Husker basketball program. Pitchford will remain at the University of Nebraska and finish his undergraduate degree in ethnic studies.
“I thank Coach Miles for giving me the opportunity when I transferred from Florida,” Pitchford said. “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.”
“I completely support Walter in his decision,” Nebraska basketball coach Tim Miles said. “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.”
As a junior, he played in 30 games, including 26 starts, and averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to rank third on the team in both scoring and rebounding. Pitchford reached double figures nine times in 2014-15, including a career-high 19 points against Tennessee-Martin and at No. 16 Maryland.
He averaged 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds as a sophomore in 2013-14, helping the Huskers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998. That season, he ranked among the Big Ten leaders in both field goal percentage (.473, 10th) and 3-point percentage (.410, seventh).
Pitchford began his career at the University of Florida in 2011-12, helping the Gators to an appearance in the Elite Eight.
In the classroom, Pitchford is a two-time Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll member.