'Family atmosphere' sold transfer Stevenson on Nebraska
It only took one official visit for Shamiel Stevenson to finally found his new home for the future.
A 6-foot-6, 245-pound transfer wing from Nevada via Pittsburgh announced his decision to commit to the Huskers on Friday following his visit to Lincoln.
"Just the family atmosphere I felt there when I was on my visit, that really stood out to me," Stevenson said. "The love me and my family felt there from the coaches and the whole university, I just knew that it was where I needed to be."
Nebraska head coach Fred Hoiberg said via press release that Stevenson's size and do-it-all ability made him a perfect fit for what the Huskers wanted to do going forward.
“We are excited to add Shamiel to our program,” NU head coach Fred Hoiberg said in a press release. “He brings a lot of versatility and physicality to our roster. With his size, strength, and wingspan, Shamiel fits in perfectly in our system with his ability to play several positions. He also possesses the toughness and maturity needed to play in the Big Ten.”
It’s been an unusual road for the Toronto, Ontario, Canada, native, as he originally committed to Pitt out of high school and averaged 8.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 23.8 minutes per game as a true freshman.
But following a coaching change that following offseason, he transferred to Nevada last December. The plan was to sit out until this coming December, but when Wolfpack head coach Eric Musselman left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas, Stevenson found himself back on the market once again this spring.
Nebraska was his first official visit since getting his release from Nevada, and the trip proved to be all he needed to see to find the next chapter of his college career. He will arrive in Lincoln on June 8 in time for the first five-week summer session and the start of summer workouts.
"I haven't seen anything like that before," Stevenson said of NU's facilities and resources, "and I've visited some pretty big schools."
Stevenson only played in four games as a sophomore at Pittsburgh, so he was able to retain that season of eligibility following his transfer to Nevada. As of now, he would have to sit out until the end of the 2019 fall semester in December before becoming eligible at NU.
Considering his changed schools twice after two unexpected coaching changes, though, there’s a legitimate chance Stevenson could be awarded a waiver to be immediately eligible for the start of the 2019-20 season.
He will have at least two seasons of eligibility at Nebraska.
"Yes, we have discussed the potential of getting waiver a lot," Stevenson said. "We should have a strong case to get it. I'm confident."
Stevenson described himself as a "big guard" who was willing to do whatever was needed to help his team win. He said his strengths included scoring at the rim, rebounding, and his ability to play inside or out on both ends of the floor.
Stevenson’s addition leaves the Huskers with three open scholarships for the 2019 class, and potentially four depending on the status of senior Isaiah Roby’s upcoming NBA Draft decision.
Given that Stevenson hasn't played a real game since December, he said he's chomping at the bit to get his fresh start going at Nebraska.
"I'm super anxious," Stevenson said. "Hopefully we can get this waiver and get rolling. It feels like it's been forever since I played a game. I can't wait for next year."