In addition to bringing back an experienced senior class and talented role players, a big reason why Florida Gators basketball is garnering so much national attention heading into the 2013-14 season is the top-notch recruiting class being brought in by head coach Billy Donovan, one that includes a pair of five-star prospects.
Unfortunately for Donovan and the Gators, one of those two signees is struggling to make it on campus as power forward Chris Walker (Bonifay, FL) still has a ways to go to become academically eligible to play college basketball.
A source close to the program told OGGOA last week that Walker recently passed the FCAT, but as The Gainesville Sun’s Kevin Brockway reported on Tuesday, the player still has a number of other hurdles to overcome before he will be able to suit up.
The 6-foot-9 Walker is still taking three academic courses online with the Florida virtual school to finish core requirements, according to his high school coach at Bonifay, Poe White. He also took the ACT for the third time last Saturday. [...]
NCAA initial eligibility is based on a sliding scale that combines grade point average (in 16 core courses) and test scores. The minimum GPA required is 2.0 while the minimum sum test score in the ACT is 37.
With three academic courses and a standardized test still in front of him, it appears unlikely that Walker will be able to join the team for Summer B on July 1 when his AAU teammate, point guard Kasey Hill (Clermont, FL), is expected to enroll.
Whether Walker will even be able to qualify at all remains up in the air.
The Gators hope he is practicing with the team at least by the fall, but he may have to wait until the spring semester. Should that occur, he would likely miss the entire non-conference schedule and begin practicing with the team in hopes of learning the ropes quickly so he can contribute during Southeastern Conference play.