From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers – too much to fit into one of our truncated BITS segments. In these instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.
» With the NFL lockout now in the books, the Florida Gators four selections in the 2011 NFL Draft will be reporting to work for the first time on Thursday. Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey (first round, No. 15), Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert (second round, No. 63), Tampa Bay Buccaneers strong safety Ahmad Black (fifth round, No. 151 and Washington Redskins guard Maurice Hurt (seventh round, No. 217 are all on teams who will be eligible to workout immediately.
» While that foursome is ready and raring to go, Florida also has a number of undrafted free agents hoping to be picked up by teams looking to supplement their roster. Among those available are defensive linemen Terron Sanders and Justin Trattou, running back Emmanuel Moody and wide receiver Carl Moore. OGGOA will update you if and when these players are picked up by teams.
» The WNBA held its 2011 All-Star game over the weekend and also announced its Top 15 Players of All Time at the event. Though she was nominated and up for selection to the list, former Gators forward DeLisha Milton-Jones was not picked by fans for the honor. The six-time champion (two Olympic gold medals, two WNBA titles, two Euroleague titles) is currently averaging 12.5 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26.6 minutes per game with the Los Angeles Sparks.
There are 11 more Gator Bites including updates on Calathes, UF-FSU, Beal, Alvarez, Wambach, LeCount, ultimate Frisbee and Bostic…after the break!
» Competing in the 2011 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships over the weekend in Miramar, FL, Florida sophomore hurdler Eddie Lovett set an event record in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.14 seconds. He was one of three Gators to win (and one of four to place) at the Pan Am Games with sophomore runner Cory McGee also winning the women’s 1,500-meters in 4:35.46 and sophomore sprinter Ebony Eutsey taking a gold as part of the women’s 4×400-meter relay team (3:34.71).
» Former Florida point guard Nick Calathes, currently playing for Panathinaikos in Greece as well as the Greek National Team, will miss the EuroBasket event in Lithuania after fracturing his right ankle while working out back home in the United States. “The doctors told me that in three to four weeks, I’d be ready,” he told FIBA.com. “I am working hard to be able to come back and help the national team.”
» Gators sophomore forward Will Yeguete claimed a bronze medal as part of France’s U20 time at the 2011 FIBA European Championships on Monday. Yeguete, who averaged 6.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in nine contests with France, had two of his best games in the quarterfinals and semifinals where he posted totals of 13 points, six rebounds and 10 points, nine rebounds, respectively. His team was undefeated until the semifinals, and he earned plenty of praise for his outstanding defense throughout the tournament. “Playing for the French national team is something I didn’t have a chance to do before and coming here is a big excitement for me,” he told FIBA.com. “I wasn’t fortunate to be part of the team in the last years, but I joined the squad in late April and since then we practiced together and it’s such a great group of guys we have here, that it made me feel even more excited about this opportunity.”
» On the air with Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher once again said that he would ideally like to move his clash with UF to the beginning of the season. “I love the end-of-the-year game, it’s not that,” he said. “It’s just that you’ve got conference championship games now and you’re playing your biggest rival in an emotional game (the week before). […] That’s a tough thing for both schools to do.” Florida holds a 6-1 record against Florida State since 2004 and is 7-4 against them this century.
» The Gators are stacked at guard heading into the 2011-12 basketball season, something head coach Billy Donovan is undoubtedly aware of. Speaking with Yahoo! Sports’ Jason King recently, he related some thoughts about his team’s make-up and composition heading into next year. “It’s a great situation to have,” Donovan said of his talented group of guards, “but I realize there are a lot of people out there saying, ‘OK, how is this going to work?’ […] There may even be times when all four of them are on the court together. What’s encouraging is that their chemistry is good. They really have a desire to make each other better.” As far as how five-star incoming freshman Brad Beal will fit in? “Our guys already know Brad Beal is a good player,” he said. “The way a freshman earns respect from veterans is by working hard every day and leaving the high school stuff behind. […] Brad really understands that part of it. I think he’s coming in with a great deal of humility.”
» Former Florida wide receiver Carlos Alvarez is still accepting the fact that he was named a first-ballot entry into the College Football Hall of Fame as announced in May. Always humble and gracious, he explained his thoughts on the matter in an interview with the Miami Herald. “I’m not known for being out of words when I speak, but when I was told about it, I really was speechless. Truly so,” Alvarez said. “It’s quite a moment for me and my family, especially when I think back to the sacrifices that my family made to get me here. It is an emotional thing for me.” He also praised a former teammate who he said is the reason for much of his success. “When all is said and done, I wouldn’t be here without John Reaves,” he said. “My name and his name are forever tied.”
» Fresh off an impressive performance in the 2011 Women’s World Cup, former Gators striker Abby Wambach returned to the United States and, after a bit of fanfare, rejoined her Women’s Professional Soccer team, magicJack. Wambach, a starting striker for the club, will also spend the remainder of the season as the team’s coach after the squad lost their original coach and his replacement due to resignation and suspension, respectively. Read more about Wambach’s promotion to player-coach at ESPNW.com.
» Once a quarterback at Florida, Terry LeCount spent his career in the NFL as a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. After only six years in the league, LeCount ended his career early after getting involved with and becoming addicted to cocaine and alcohol. For the last seven years, LeCount has been working as a paraprofessional, assisting a kindergarten teacher as an educator for special children. The Florida Times-Union recently sat down with LeCount, who was happy to talk about his new life while recognizing the mistakes he made previously. “I never fulfilled my NFL potential,” he said. “I could have played 15 years if I hadn’t done [drugs]. I got caught up doing the wrong thing. […] I’ve been through a lost time, but that’s also helped me reach some kids as a para pro. You never know who you’re going to reach, but you’re touching somebody. When I leave this earth, the biggest thing I can say is someone is going to take what I said and make a difference.”
» Gators two-time national champion ultimate Frisbee player Brodie Smith has been compiling a number of impressive trick shot videos that are making their rounds on YouTube and drawing rave reviews. A friend of OGGOA, Smith sent over some shorts for our readers to check out. View them here and here, and you can also check out some highlights from his successful career here.
» Former Florida Hall of Fame basketball player Dan Cross and his company Athlete Connections will be hosting an All Fundamentals Camp at Florida Gym from Aug. 2-5. Designed for kids in grades 3-10, it is packed with indispensable teachings from an entire staff that will help campers work on dribbling, shooting, passing, teamwork, respect, discipline, leadership, agility, footwork and more. Registration is $185 (spaces are limited) and there is also a parent-camper day on Friday so adults can see how much their kids and teens have improved throughout the course of the vent. For more information or to register for the event, please click here.
» Gators junior linebacker Jon Bostic participated in a podcast with CBSSports.com and spoke about both the 2010 season and upcoming 2011 season. Listen to it below: