Junior forward Justin Leon (Conway, AR) announced Monday on Twitter that he has decided to join Florida Gators basketball for the 2015-16 season as a JUCO transfer who will be immediately eligible to play.
“After reviewing my options I have decided to go to Gainesville Florida and join the Gators,” wrote the left-handed shooter.
Leon (6-foot-8, 200 pounds), who spent two seasons at Shawnee Community College in Illinois, signed on April 15 to play for Michael White at Louisiana Tech but was released from his Letter of Intent once White departed to join Florida.
Averaging 21.5 points and 10.0 rebounds for SCC as a sophomore, Leon outclassed his freshman year numbers of 15.3 points and 6.3 boards. He has shot better than 53 percent from the field for his career.
Though Leon’s commitment to the Gators has not been confirmed by the program, which must receive his official papers before adding him to the roster, White spoke about the player when he originally joined the Bulldogs in April.
“Justin is an extremely important signee for us for a number of reasons,” White said in a Louisiana Tech press release. “His athleticism and versatility, along with his size and toughness make him a great fit athletically. He’s a good scorer, rebounder and defender who plays with an uncanny intensity level. In addition, his makeup as an intangible player and teammate make him even more valuable to us.”
White noted in the release that assistants Dusty May, Jordan Mincy and Darris Nichols all recruited Leon to the program; all three assistants joined White at Florida, making the coaching staff more than familiar to Leon.
Adding bodies was a necessity for the Gators, which entered Monday with two open scholarships on its depleted roster. White now has one spot remaining on his first-year roster.