FOUR BITS: Daigneault, Hayden, Murphy

1 » A four-year member of the Florida Gators basketball staff, Mark Daigneault is on the verge of being hired away as the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s NBA D-League team, according to ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman. Daigneault, who served as “assistant to the head coach” under Billy Donovan, is 29 years old and never coached on the court at Florida. Instead, he was tasked with a variety of tasks including helping players with their off-the-court needs and scouting prospects. “If you work with [Donovan], whether you are a player or his staff, there is a connection that he has with you,” he told the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise back in March. “He’s just one of those people that are extremely genuine and authentic. He’s about as normal a person that you can be around for someone who has experienced as much success as he has. He is very grounded and doesn’t see himself above anyone else.” Daigneault previously served as an assistant coach at Holy Cross for three seasons.

2 » The Gators basketball team participated in “strongman”-style workouts again this offseason. Some of the exercises were caught on camera and compiled below.


3 » Former Florida women’s basketball player Vanessa Hayden, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft and a five-year veteran of the league, will be a contestant on NBC’s The Biggest Loser when the show debuts on Thursday, Sept. 11. Hayden, who is now up to 366 pounds, is 32 years old and works as a child welfare specialist. While a senior at UF, she was named to the All-SEC First Team, garnered SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and earned a spot on the All-American Second Team. She will be one of 20 former athletes competing on the show, though many are not well-known names. Those that are include former NFLers Damien Woody and Scott Mitchell.

4 » Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons is not the only former Gators basketball player expected to compete in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain this summer. Though Parsons will be the only one playing for the United States, Cleveland Cavaliers F Erik Murphy recently received his Finnish passport and is expected to play and possibly start for Finland. Murphy’s mother is Finnish, and she recently posted on Twitter a picture of her son on the cover of Finnish Sport magazine.


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