Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
St. John’s star Julian Champagnie agrees to Two-Way Contract with 76ers
By ADAM ZAGORIA
St. John’s junior Julian Champagnie has agreed to a Two-Way Contract with the Philadelphia 76ers after going undrafted in the NBA Draft, a league source said.
His twin brother Justin Champagnie plays for the Toronto Raptors.
St. John’s forward Aaron Wheeler will also play Summer League with the Miami Heat, per a league source. The 6-foot-9 Stamford, Conn. native averaged 10.0 points and 4.7 rebounds last season.
The 6-8 Champagnie completed his St. John’s career ranked 20th on the program’s career scoring list with 1,408 points (16.0 ppg) in his three seasons leading the Red Storm.
The Brooklyn native also finished top-six all-time in career free-throw percentage (6th, 81.5 pct) and 3-point field goals made (4th, 149) while pulling down 598 rebounds (6.8 rpg), good enough for 32nd all-time at St. John’s.
“Words can’t describe what Julian has meant to our basketball program since he arrived on campus as a 17-year-old,” said St. John’s head Coach Mike Anderson. “Over the past three years, it has been an honor to watch Julian grow into the fine young man and basketball player he is today. Julian put in the work and gave us everything we asked of him. We understand this is his time to take that next step and pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. We wish him the very best and he will forever be part of our St. John’s Basketball Family.”
One of the most prolific scorers in program history, Champagnie started 81 of his 88 appearances with the Johnnies. He reached double figures 68 times, including 40 consecutive games spanning his sophomore and junior seasons, with 28 20-point performances and four 30-point efforts. Champagnie is part of an elite fraternity at St. John’s, becoming one of just seven Johnnies to garner All-BIG EAST First Team honors twice, etching his name in the St. John’s record book alongside the likes of Chris Mullin, Mark Jackson, Malik Sealy, Marcus Hatten, D’Angelo Harrison and Shamorie Ponds.
“Playing in the NBA has been a lifelong dream,” Champagnie said when declaring for the Draft. “After discussion with my family and those close to me, I believe now is the best time to begin that journey.
“Growing up, St. John’s was a place that always felt like home, but over the past three years it officially became my home and gave me so much opportunity to develop as a person and a player. I wouldn’t change my decision to be part of this great program for anything. I am a Johnnie for life.”
This past season, Champagnie averaged 19.2 points in 31 appearances, good enough for second in the BIG EAST and 35th in the country in scoring. He reached double figures 26 times with 15 efforts of 20-plus points and a trio of 30-point performances.
In BIG EAST Tournament action, the Brooklyn native scored 26 points in the team’s opening win over DePaul before adding 23 in a one-point quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Villanova. Not only a prolific scorer, Champagnie also led the team with 6.6 boards per outing while ranking second in the league in steals with 2.0 per game and 10th with 1.1 blocks per contest. He recorded four of his 15 career double-doubles in 2021-22. As a sophomore in 2020-21, Champagnie led the conference and ranked 25th nationally in scoring with 19.8 points per game and garnered the BIG EAST’s Most Improved Player Award.
He also became just the fourth player in program history to lead the league in scoring over the course of a conference season, joining Mullin (1983-84), Walter Berry (1985-86) and Hatten (2001-02). In 2019-20, Champagnie was named to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team and was named All-Met Rookie of the Year by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association. He started 26 of 32 appearances as a freshman, averaging 9.9 points and led the team with 6.5 rebounds per game.
This past season, Champagnie was one of five finalists for the 2022 Julius Erving Award, presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s top small forward.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.