1 » Final balloting for the fan vote for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game was released on Thursday evening and none of the players initially selected for the game were former Florida Gators. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (230,796 votes) finished seventh in Eastern Conference frontcourt balloting. Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (165,875) checked in 10th in Western Conference frontcourt balloting with Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (144,697) finishing 15th. The top three frontcourt players from each conference automatically became starters for their respective teams. The 30 NBA head coaches will vote for a total of 14 players – seven in each conference – to fill out the benches. Those reserves will be announced on Jan. 24 with Noah and Lee both expected to be chosen. Noah is averaging career-highs in points (12.4), assists (4.1), blocks (2.0), steals (1.3), minutes (38.4) and free throw shooting (.800) while also registering 10.7 rebounds per game. Lee is averaging 19.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists while playing a career-high 37.5 minutes.
2 » Arrested on Wednesday for third-degree felony grand theft of a motor vehicle and second-degree misdemeanor driving with a suspended license, Florida freshman offensive lineman Jessamen Dunker entered an Alachua County Court on Thursday morning and was eventually released on his own recognizance. Dunker, via his attorney Huntley Johnson, denied stealing the scooter that was reported stolen. “His position is he paid $600 for the scooter and I’m prepared to represent him on that basis,” Johnson told the judge, according to The Gainesville Sun. The State Attorney’s Office has yet to file formal charges against Dunker as it is still reviewing the case. He remains on the Gators football team as of press time, but head coach Will Muschamp is expected to address the player’s status on Friday at noon.
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3 » The N.C. State Wolfpack officially announced that the football program has accepted the transfer of sophomore quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Thursday. “I’m extremely excited to welcome Jacoby to the Wolfpack family,” head coach Dave Doeren said in a school release. “I’ve known him since he was a freshman in high school when I recruited him for Wisconsin. I think the world of him as a competitor in football and basketball and as a student. He is a very humble person who will do a tremendous job with our fans and will be a great ambassador for the NC State football program. I look forward to having him around our team. Jacoby is an NFL-style quarterback with a tremendous arm and great accuracy and he has some of the best hand-eye coordination I’ve ever seen. He has the ability to throw the ball deep, intermediate and short. He has great touch and arm strength.” Brissett chose N.C. State over West Virginia after deciding to transfer from Florida earlier this month.
4 » Former Gators defensive coordinator Dan Quinn appears thrilled to be returning to the NFL in an interview with the Seattle Seahawks’ official website on Thursday. “I am so excited to get back there and get going,” he said. “I was hoping to get a chance to be back and be part of it. Now that I am, it’s really exciting. I’m beyond excited.” Quinn told the Seahawks’ writer that he has been keeping an eye on Seattle and made sure to watch the team each Sunday. “Everybody in that entire organization has just done such a cool job,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure from afar to watch the development and how things have been going.” Quinn also indicated that he had a great time at Florida and could not have asked for a better experience as a first-time defensive coordinator. “I had to [be a coordinator]. I was totally glad I did it. And to do it at a place like Florida was something I really need to do,” he said. “I grew as a coach the past two seasons. And now, I’m fired up to be back and I can’t wait to be part of the organization again.”
5 » Former Florida wide receiver Ike Hilliard has been hired as the new wide receivers coach of the Buffalo Bills under new head coach Doug Marrone. Following a successful 12-year playing career in which he racked up 6,397 yards on 546 receptions with 35 touchdowns in 161 games, Hilliard began his coaching career. He first worked with the UFL’s Florida franchise before jumping on with Miami as an assistant wide receivers coach in 2011. He spent 2012 with Washington at the same position and will now be coaching his third NFL team in as many seasons.
6 » Four members of the Gators 2012 soccer team were selected in the inaugural 2013 NWSL College Draft on Friday. They join striker Abby Wambach (Western New York Flash), Florida great and U.S. Women’s National Team captain, as former Gators participating in the new league’s first season.
Round 1, No. 8 overall: Kathryn Williamson (defender) – Portland Thorns
Round 2, No. 11 overall: Erika Tymrak (forward/midfielder) – FC Kansas City
Round 3, No. 18 overall: Holly King (midfielder) – Washington Spirit
Round 3, No. 21 overall: Jo Dragotta (midfielder) – Boston Breakers