Junior forward Justin Leon (Conway, AR) announced two weeks ago on Twitter that would join Florida Gators basketball for the 2015-16 season as a JUCO transfer who would 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.
On Tuesday, the school officially announced that Leon (6-foot-8, 200 pounds) would join the program for next season.
Leon spent two seasons at Shawnee Community College in Illinois and originally signed on April 15 to play for Michael White at Louisiana Tech; however, he 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 Florida did not release any comments on Leon, 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 now have one open scholarship on their depleted roster.