FOUR BITS: Walker, Beisel, Dwyer, Watkins

By Adam Silverstein
June 23, 2014

1 » Former Florida Gators point guard Erving Walker is quickly making his way around Europe, announcing Monday that he has signed with JDA Dijon Basket of the ProA league in France. It is the third professional team Walker has played for since leaving Florida. He first signed with Veroli Basket out of Italy’s Legadue in the summer of 2012, averaging 17.9 points and 3.6 assists in 20 games with the club. He then inked a deal to play in Poland with Basket Zielona Góra but only lasted about three months with the team. During his stay, he averaged 5.7 points and 2.4 assists in 28 games spread between the EuroCup, Euroleague and Polish League. Walker finished out the 2013-14 season with Elan Chalon out of the LNB Pro A league in France where he saw 19.2 minutes per game, posting 9.0 points and 2.1 assists per contest.

2 » A pair of former Gators swimmers saw great success over the weekend, beating better-known United States Olympians to claim gold medals. Competing Saturday at the Arena Grand Prix in Santa Clara, California, Elizabeth Beisel won titles in the 400-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke, inching past Missy Franklin by 0.75 seconds in the latter event. At the same event on Sunday, Conor Dwyer took down Michael Phelps by 0.04 seconds in the 200-meter individual medley, winning $20,000 and a one-year BMW lease in the process. [Watch]

3 » When the Amateur Softball Association on Sunday announced the 17-player roster for the 2014 U.S. Women’s National Team, two Florida players learned they had been added to the team and would have the chance to play for their country. Former Gators center fielder Michelle Moultrie, who has spent the last three years playing softball for the United States, was named to the team for the fourth-straight year. Moultrie has already captured three gold medals and two silver medals with USA Softball. Also honored with a placement on the team was sophomore second baseman Kelsey Stewart, a First Team All-American who helped Florida win the 2014 NCAA Championship this season for the first time in program history. The duo will compete with their American teammates at the World Cup of Softball in California (July 7-12) and the ISF Women’s World Championship in the Netherlands (Aug. 12-24).

4 » Organized team activities are all that has happened for NFL teams up to this point, but former Gators defensive back Jaylen Watkins is already impressing the Philadelphia Eagles after the team chose him with the first pick in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft in early May. “When you talk to him about his defense at Florida, he knew what everybody did,” Eagles defensive backs coach John Lovett told the Philadelphia Enquirer. “I talked to the defensive coordinator [D.J. Durkin] down there. They put him at positions that he hadn’t even practiced that week because he knew what everybody was doing. He’s really got a great football IQ.” Watkins told the paper that playing for the Gators has helped with retaining his new defense because he can “call back” to things he learned at Florida and “match it with something here and kind of remember it.”

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