Elijah Pittman is Ready to Shine in NBA
HUNTINGTON, WV - With the NFL Draft finally wrapped up, sports fanatics are turning their attention to the next big event: the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 26.
Everyone may be picking out their favorite prospects, but one player that cannot be overlooked is Elijah Pittman. Several NBA teams and scouts have declared Pittman to be a bonafide NBA pro player.
During his time at Marshall University, the 6'9' Pittman saw action in all 32 games of his first season and averaged a team high of 16.1 PPG along with 4.2 RPG.
Pittman's accomplishments don't stop there. The forward also co-led his team in 3-pointers with 65 in the season, tying teammate D.D. Scarver for tenth on the university's all-time list for 3-pointers made in a season. With such successes, it's easy to assume Pittman was always an all-star player. In reality, this is not quite the case.
'In fourth grade I got cut from the grade school basketball team,' said Pittman. 'Since then I always knew I wanted to play basketball. I saw all these other kids doing great and I just thought, 'What's wrong with me?' It provided that extra push to improve.'
Despite leaving an impressive mark on Marshall basketball, off-court issues pertaining to protecting himself and his family at his home caught up with him resulting in his suspension from the team during which he voluntary left the school to pursue his career in professional basketball.
'I realize that everyone's not perfect,' said Pittman. 'People learn from their mistakes and that's exactly what I did. I've grown from that experience, and in no way is it a reflection of the person I am today.
'The most important lesson I learned was that life can take everything away just as quickly as it gives,' hecontinued. 'If you're not doing to right things, you can end up in a very different place.'
In spite of these off-court issues, the Covington, KY, native was quickly picked up by the Delaware 87er's, the NBA D-League's affiliate for the Philadelphia 76ers. Off the court, Pittman is committed to two things: the homeless and basketball.
'I've spent a lot of time handing out food for the homeless,' said Pittman. 'I also helped administer used clothes to the homeless with Kroger grocery stores. But other than that, I eat, sleep and drink basketball.'
Pittman's NBA Draft eligibility still stands, and after an impressive run with the 87er's - including an average 10.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game - he's ready to progress to the next step in his career.
'I want coaches to know that I'm as hard working and humble as anyone else,' said Pittman. 'I want an opportunity in the NBA more than anything, and to prove people wrong and that I am cut out for this.'