TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Matthew Cleveland, who averaged 22.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.9 steals and 0.7 blocked shots in leading Pace Academy to the 2020 State Championship in Georgia, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Florida State and play basketball for Seminoles Head Coach Leonard Hamilton and his staff. Cleveland earned All-State First Team and was named the state of Georgia 3A Player of the Year in 2020.
“I’m really excited to be a part of such a great program Coach Ham has built and how it’s a culture of winning,” said Cleveland. “I plan to help continue that culture when I get there.”
Cleveland (6-7, 190) is an explosive athlete who specializes in making tough shots and who is a great rebounder for his position. He has the potential to become a very versatile defender in Florida State’s system. Cleveland has good length and can score at all three levels and has improved his outside shooting throughout his prep career.
“Matthew Cleveland is a great fit for our team and our program because of his basketball IQ and his incredible personality,” said Seminole Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. “He’s very much in the mold of the players who have earned success here at Florida State – he’s a slasher, can get the basket, is a great shooter and wants to play defense. Matthew is what is called nowadays a “3 and D Player” who is really, really good on both ends of the court.”
Cleveland was among the first players to commit to Florida State’s 20021 recruiting class that has been ranked as the second best recruiting class in the nation by every recruiting service.
“Matthew has been a dynamic player for us and continues to get better as his game continues to grow,” said Pace Academy Sharman White. “I see him flourishing greatly at FSU under Coach Ham and staff as time goes on. I feel like Matt’s character has a lot to do with the success he has gained on and off the court as his commitment and determination to be elite has been a staple during his career.”
While he chose Hamilton and his staff early during the recruiting process, Cleveland fielded nearly 30 scholarship offers from the majority of the schools in the ACC, the Big Ten and the Big 12. He selected the Seminoles over Kansas, Michigan, Stanford and NC State.