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Player profile

(Updated August 2021)
Atlanta, Ga.
high school
Pace Academy


“Matthew Cleveland is elite. I’ve coached Jaylen Brown and I’ve coached Collin Sexton. And both of those two guys are elite in transition. I would have to put Matthew in that category with those guys when he’s getting downhill in transition. If he doesn’t get fouled, you can almost put two points on the board,” said his AAU Coach Pat Harper.


2021-22 ACC Impact Freshman (CBS Sports)


I will wear No. 35 at Florida State because that is the number I’ve been wearing since my sophomore year of high school.  We won two state championships while I was wearing that number, so I asked if I could wear it when I came to Florida State.

Matthew Cleveland is the 13th player in the history of the Florida State program to wear No. 35.  The first player in Florida State history to wear No. 35 was Dick Kendall during the 1949-50 season.  The last player to wear No. 35 was current Seminole and three-time team captain Harrison Prieto during the 2019-20 season.


My full name is Matthew Nathaniel Cleveland.  Matthew is a name that both of my parents really liked and Nathaniel comes from my grandfather and my uncle – it’s both of their first names.


Atlanta is a big city and a small town.  It’s insanely diverse.  Its fast-paced way of life is an aspect of my hometown that I really like.


A two-time high school All-American and one of the top recruits in Florida State history…earned All-American Second-Team honors as a senior and All-America Honorable Mention honors at Pace Academy in Atlanta in 2021…an outstanding addition to Florida State’s roster who will quickly become acclimated to the Seminoles’ system on both ends of the court…the No. 14 ranked recruit in the nation by rivals…the No. 15 overall recruit in the Top247 rankings…the No. 22 ranked recruit nationally in the class of 2021…ranked as the No. 5 shooting guard entering the college ranks for the 2021-22 season…the No. 3 overall ranked player in the state of Georgia…steadily climbed the national recruiting rankings and was a top-25 national recruit throughout his senior season…an all-around talent…has great length for a wing scorer…is a very explosive athlete with outstanding body control…a slasher who specializes in making tough shots…a special handle especially in traffic…can score from all three levels on the court…top notch rebounder as a guard who’s versatile abilities as a defender will allow him to be very successful in Florida State’s system.


Graduated from Pace Academy in 2021…averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.0 steals as a senior and was named as a Second-Team All-American by MaxPreps in 2021…earned All-America Honorable Mention Honors as a junior in 2020 by MaxPreps…ranked 15th in scoring, 17th in rebounding, 19th in free throws made and 22nd in steals in the state of Georgia as a senior in 2021…totaled 18 double double during his incredible senior season…his play led Pace to an appearance in the GEICO National Tournament in 2021…totaled 30 points and eight rebounds in Pace’s game against Oak Hill Academy in the opening round of the GEICO Nationals…Pace was ranked as high as No. 16 nationally in the 2021 MaxPreps rankings…led Pace to a state championship title as a senior in 2021…Pace finished the 2021 season with a 28-2 overall record and were undefeated in league play at 8-0…led Pace to a 28-game winning streak during his senior season…the 2021 Atlanta area Player of the Year and an All-Atlanta/South Fulton County First Team selection by the Atlanta Journal Constitution…the Class 2A Player of the Year and a First Team Class 2A selection in 2021…the Metro Atlanta Player of the Year as a senior as named by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club…a convincing 73-42 win by Cleveland and Pace gave the Knights the Class 2A State Championship during his senior season…totaled 24 points, seven assists and five blocked shots in leading pace to the state title win over Columbia from Decatur County in Georgia… totaled 30 points and 11 rebounds in Pace’s victory over the Elite Scholars Academy during his senior season…earned four 30 point, 10 rebound double doubles during his senior season…totaled 10 points and four rebounds as a member of Team Loyalty in the 2021 Allen Iverson Roundball Classic…led Pace to the State Championship title as a junior…averaged 22.6 points and 8.2 rebounds in 2020…named as the Georgia High School Class 3A Player of the Year in leading the Knights to the state title…helped lead Pace to two of the three state championships in school history (2016, 2020, 2021)…totaled 62 points at The Opening while playing as a member of the Atlanta Celtics during the Summer of 2020.


Born Sept. 15, 2002…Matthew is the son of Sandra and Ralph Cleveland…has three older sisters: Veronica, Alyssa and Bryana…totaled 27 high major scholarship offers before deciding to play for the Seminoles…chose Florida State over Kansas, Michigan Stanford, NC State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Miami, Arkansas, Tulane, Maryland, North Carolina and Kentucky…major is Sport Management.