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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Florida forward Pitchford to transfer for family reasons

After just one season playing for the Gators, Walter Pitchford announced Wednesday that he is transferring from Florida’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-10, 221-pound forward saw just 22 minutes of playing time off the bench during his freshman season at UF, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds in 13 games.

Coach Billy Donovan cited Pitchford’s wish to be closer to his family in Michigan as his main reason for leaving the program, according to a university release.

“It’s definitely the best thing for him and his family, just with some of his extenuating circumstances. Right now, he just needs to be near his family,” Donovan said. “They need him home and they want him home.”

Pitchford came to UF as a three-star center out of East Lansing (Mich.) Summit Christian Academy. His departure leaves Florida one scholarship below the NCAA limit, creating an opportunity for another recruit to commit to the Gators before the late signing period is over on May 16.

“Even though he didn’t play a lot this year, his attitude every day was phenomenal; always good energy, always good enthusiasm,” Donovan said. “I don’t remember him ever having a bad day attitude-wise. He was always about the team.”

Contact John Boothe at jboothe@alligator.org.

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