Cleveland, Polite named to ACC academic basketball team

By Chuck Walsh

Redshirt senior Anthony Polite and freshman Matthew Cleveland of the Florida State men’s basketball team have been named to the 2022 All-ACC Academic team. The selections mark the first time both players have been honored as members of the academic team as named by the ACC Office. In order to be named to the squad, which includes players from each of the conference’s 15 teams, players must maintain a 3.0 academic grade point average for both of the last two semesters and for their careers.

It marks the seventh consecutive season at least one Seminole has been named to the All-ACC Academic men’s basketball team. Former Seminole star Trent Forrest earned the Skip Prosser Award as the ACC’s Top Scholar Athlete in 2020.

Polite averaged 9.9 points per game and a career-high 5.6 rebounds as a redshirt senior for the Seminoles during the 2022 season. He played in 24 of Florida State’s 31 games as he was forced to miss playing time when he suffered a wrist injury which forced him to miss seven games. Polite finished his career ranked 21st in school history with 301 career 3-point field goals attempted and 23rd in school history with 105 career 3-point field goals made. He is one of just 24 players in school history to make at least 100 career 3-point field goals.

Polite earned his Bachelor’s degree in finance in 2021 and will earn a Master’s degree in athletic coaching from the Florida State School of Education this summer.

“Being named to the All-ACC Academic team is a great way to complete my academic career at Florida State,” said Polite. “One of my goals when I chose to be a Seminole was to earn my degree, just like my father did following his career at FSU. The opportunity to attend Florida State, and ultimately receive my degree, is something that is very important to me and my family.”

Cleveland, who was named as the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year, finished his freshman season as Florida State’s second-leading scorer (11.5 ppg) and as its third-leading rebounder (4.6 rpg). He played in 29 of 31 games, led the Seminoles in minutes played (26.2 mpg) and first on the team with 133 field goals made and 61 free throws made.

“Being named to the All-ACC Academic team as a freshman was certainly one of my academic goals for my first season,” said Cleveland. “My success academically is more important to me and my family than my success on the basketball court. Doing well in the classroom is one of the reasons I chose to come to Florida State and play for Coach (Leonard) Hamilton – it is part of our culture, part of being a Seminole basketball player.”

A member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at Florida State, Cleveland earned Dean’s List honors during the 2021 fall semester after earning a 4.0 grade point average during his first summer at Florida State. Cleveland is majoring in sport management.

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