Walter Pitchford was brought to Gainesville with the intention of adding depth to the frontcourt while improving and preparing for future seasons. He rarely got into games unless it was a blowout, becoming a fan favorite immediately in those situations.
“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,” Florida head coach Billy Donovan told the university’s official site. “They need him home and they want him home.
“Even though he didn’t play a lot this year, his attitude every day was phenomenal; always good energy, always good enthusiasm. I don’t remember him ever having a bad day attitude-wise. He was always about the team.”
The Orlando Sentinel confirmed on Wednesday that Pitchford would like to return home to be closer to his sick grandfather.
“It’s been great learning from Coach Donovan and competing with my teammates here at Florida,” Pitchford said in a statement. “I made this decision because I need to be closer to my family at this time.”
In just 13 games played, Pitchford shot 27% from the field and went 0-3 in late attempts from behind the three-point line.
Scout.com ranked Pitchford as a three-star forward when he came out of Summer Christian Academy (MI).