Panthers get highly recruited freshman forward back on team

Roster now at 11 scholarship players for 2021-22 season
John Hugley
Photo credit Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – The best player add for Pitt basketball this offseason came from getting a player back from suspension.

Panthers reinstate forward John Hugley after prosecutors dropped felony charges against the freshman.  Hugley now is facing misdemeanor charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and driving without a license.  Hugley will face probation and then charges removed from his record.

“John is grateful for the opportunity to return to the University of Pittsburgh and continue to be a member of our program,” said head coach Jeff Capel in a statement. “The past five months have been challenging for him and have forced him to grow and mature. We have stayed in constant contact with him throughout and although he was not here physically with us he has always been a part of our team. We are proud of the way he has handled himself to recover from the mistakes he made. John has taken ownership of his actions, remained committed to his academics and focused on his individual growth outside of basketball. We look forward to his full return to the University of Pittsburgh and the opportunity to continue to mentor a young man with a bright future.”

The 6’9”, 240 forward played in seven games last year, including a start.  He averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.  Hugley offered by West Virginia, Penn State, Duquesne, NC State, Miami, Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa, Florida, Xavier and others coming out of high school in Cleveland.

“I am excited to be back at the University of Pittsburgh to continue my education on and off the court,” said Hugley in a statement released by the university. “The love and support I received from Coach Capel, the coaching staff and my teammates provided me with the strength to grow throughout the past five months. I cannot thank [Director of Athletics] Heather Lyke enough for her guidance, leadership and support as well. The way everyone at Pitt has stood by me has only grown my love for the university and the people here. Pitt is a special place, with great people and all the resources to be successful. I am really looking forward to being back and becoming a valued member of the campus community.”

That raises Pitt’s roster to 11 scholarship players for the 2021-22 season with a few scholarships yet to give.