Jeter calls picking Pitt a 'win-win' situation
After what Sheldon Jeter calls his “summer of uncertainty,” the former Beaver Falls star was at a loss for words to describe what it means to finally have a clear picture of his basketball future.
Living in limbo since leaving Vanderbilt, Jeter is spending the school year at Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla. After taking an official visit to Pitt last weekend, Jeter committed to play for the Panthers. He plans to sign during the early period in November and enroll in May.
The 6-foot-8, 223-pound small forward, the 2012 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review player of the year after averaging 21.8 points in leading Beaver Falls to the WPIAL Class AA title and PIAA final, is looking forward to the opportunity to play in the ACC with Pitt next season.
“It's really exciting,” Jeter said. “To be able to leave one of the best basketball conferences in the SEC and go to what I view as the best conference with the best competition is just amazing.
“I didn't want to go from the SEC to play in a mid-major conference. I either wanted to stay at that level or go higher. With this move, I feel like I'm going higher. And the fact that I get to study and watch (ACC) teams this year is great. It's a win-win for me.”
Jeter averaged 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds while playing 18 minutes a game as a freshman at Vanderbilt. When he decided to transfer to be “closer to home,” Commodores coach Kevin Stallings denied both his request and an appeal to accept a scholarship from Pitt, which hadn't offered Jeter out of high school.
Jeter picked Vanderbilt over Penn State, Kansas State, South Carolina and Wisconsin. When he decided to transfer, Jeter said he was in contact with Cincinnati, Georgetown, Florida State, Ohio State, Purdue and VCU. While he waited, those schools filled their scholarships.
“It's just been difficult,” Jeter said. “To leave a great institution like Vanderbilt and then go through what I went through this summer, it's been humbling. But the end result is worth everything I went through. I felt like I fit in at Pitt. How I feel now is worth all the anger, frustration and stress that was put on me.”
Jeter picked Polk State in part because of the relationship his father, Carliss, has with Eagles coach Matt Furjanic, a Rankin native who has coached at Robert Morris, Marist and Pitt-Greensburg, as well as General Braddock and Woodland Hills high schools. Furjanic coached Jeter's cousin, Lance, who played at Nebraska. Another cousin, Brock Van Lier, plays at Polk State.
Sheldon Jeter will sit out this season but practice with Polk State.
“Any leading scorer we play against, he's going to be that player on our scout team,” Furjanic said. “I might have a future pro on my scout team. That could go down in history.”
Furjanic views Jeter as a combination forward, and is helping him work on his ball handling and defending smaller guards so that he can play small forward at Pitt, which will lose three-year starter Lamar Patterson to graduation after this season.
“He's a good outside shooter,” Furjanic said of Jeter. “He's going to need some work on his ball handling, which we're working with, but I think down the road he can be a 6-8 three-man. He goes to the basket with authority. He's a great kid, a relentless hard worker.
“He's an unbelievable kid. He's special.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Emotional send-off awaits Pitt seniors
- Artis leads Pitt to lopsided victory over Cornell
- Bowl destination is at stake for Pitt football in regular-season finale
- District college notebook: Pair of Pitt wrestlers win titles at Keystone Classic
- Miami’s Scott has improved program since replacing Golden
- Pitt notebook: Narduzzi reaches out to Syracuse coach
- Pitt’s Dixon monitoring minutes early in season
- Conner ‘not quite’ ready to return, Pitt RB coach says
- Pitt players praise Narduzzi’s coaching style