Pitt’s Damon Wilson signs with Georgia State

Coach Ron Hunter shares his thoughts on new and old players, as well as future plans for the Georgia State Men’s basketball team. April 14, 2016. Photos by Lahar Samantarai| The Signal Archives


Continuing his offseason-trend, head coach of the Georgia State men’s basketball team, Ron Hunter, has made a knack of signing transfer players to his Panthers team.

Hunter announced on May 10 that Pitt guard Damon Wilson will transfer to Georgia State this summer and will have two years of eligibility remaining. Wilson will redshirt the 2017-18 season, due to NCAA transfer rule, before beginning to play for the Panthers in the 2018-19 season.

While Wilson played sparingly at Pitt, he earned All-ACC Academic Team honors for having the highest GPA (4.0) on the team as a freshman. It’s worth noting here that coach Hunter tends to recruit players that are not only basketball savvy on the court but also witty in the classroom.

Wilson played in 30 games for Pitt, and 75.0 percent from the free throw line. His most impressive outing came against Central Arkansas, where he scored a season-high 20 points with two rebounds.

Georgia State’s Associate Athletic Director, Mike Holmes, provided The Signal with a quote from coach Hunter, in regards to Wilson joining the team.

“We are excited to finish a great recruiting cycle by adding Damon to our team,” Hunter said. “We were glad that Damon decided to return to Atlanta to finish his collegiate career. He has a high basketball IQ and works hard in the classroom. He is going to be a great addition to our program.”

Perhaps what lead to Pitt signing Wilson was his stellar career in high school. As a senior, Wilson averaged 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.8 steals. He would go on to lead his team to a 22-12 record. He also shot 47.3 percent from the floor and 76.2 percent from the foul line.

During his junior year, Wilson was just shy of averaging a double-double with 10.9 points and eight assists per game, while also guiding his team to a 28-3 record and a top-10 finish in the final USA Today national rankings. If not that’s not impressive enough, Wilson also led the program to a National Association of Christian Athletes and 2014 USA National Prep Championship.

As a sophomore, Wilson played at St. Benedict’s Prep in New Jersey, which is also where NBA player J.R. Smith attended high school. During his time at St. Benedict’s Prep, Wilson averaged 12.0 points and four assists per game.

Coming out of high school, Wilson was ranked No. 73 in the 2015 ESPN Top 10 and listed as No. 100 by Rivals. He was the top rated point guard in New York and the No. 1 rated point guard coming out of Georgia at the time.

Wilson will now join high school stars Josh Linder of Kathleen, GA, Kane Williams of Douglasville, GA, and Dennis Alibegovic of Downers Grove, Ill., who signed with the Panthers earlier this year. Another notable signee for the Panthers is Basil Smotherman from Purdue. Smotherman will have one year of eligibility remaining next season.

Georgia State is on track to begin summer practice the week of June 5.