Number 5: Jason Williams
His name was White Chocolate and he played the extravagant card. Williams spent one year at Marshall University before transferring to Florida in 1996. He had to sit out a year because of the transfer rule, but he was special during his year as a Gator.
Williams averaged 17.1 points, 6.7 assists and 2.7 steals per game while leading an underachieving Florida team in the NIT tournament. Watching Williams play at Florida was a lot of fun because they showed him how flashy he could be, which then carried over to the NBA. His stay in Florida was marked by the first appearance of the elbow pass that would later make him famous. Florida was not the team it would become under Billy Donovan in the 2000s, but Jason Williams remains one of the best players to come through the program.
In the NBA, Williams had a consistent career as a guard. He played most of his career with the Kings as a backup to Mike Bibby and eventually won the ring with the Miami Heat. He was known for his flamboyant play as a passer and scorer.
Number 4: Vernon Maxwell
Vernon Mad Maxwell was a 6-foot-11 electric point guard who had success from deep and on the wing throughout his career at the University of Florida. Maxwell spent four years there and led the team to the NCAA Tournament in his final two seasons, reaching the Elite 8 one year and the Sweet Sixteen the next.
In his final two seasons with the Gators, Maxwell averaged 20 points and became a threat around the perimeter. He was a top scorer who combined fierce defense with an electric handle. He was able to get into the teeth of the defence when he wanted to, sometimes on the rum for an exciting finish.
Vernon Maxwell has spent 13 seasons in the NBA. Most of those seasons, including his best, were with the Houston Rockets. He never blossomed as a star in the league, but he played well on both ends and became a solid 3 and D defender over the course of his career.
Number 3: Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem was one of the bravest players to ever play at Florida. He was a defender and a tough player in the post. Opponents have struggled with him at the plate, in the post and on defense.
Haslem spent four years there, steadily improving with each season. In his entire career at Florida, he never shot less than 50% from the field. At Florida, he competed in the NCAA Championships, where his team finished second to Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
Udonis Haslem is one of the few players in basketball history to have spent his entire career in one state. He played his entire NBA career for the Miami Heat. He won three championships with the Heat, and his loyalty has been a crucial aspect of his career.
Number 2: Al Horford
Al Horford spent three years with the Gators, where he helped the team win a national championship. He was a bright thinker and an elite defender who influenced the game in many ways. Many claim he is the player with the highest IQ on this list. That high IQ is what allowed him to stay in the NBA for so long.
Horford’s career at Florida was defined not by his points, but by the fact that he was the perfect glue for the championship team. Offensively he is a good playmaker and a good defender. He was a constant presence in court.
In the NBA, Horford was a multiple All-Star and a key player on many great teams. He played primarily for the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks, where he was an All-Star. He currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside young stars like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Lugenz Dort.
Number 1: Joachim Noah
Joakim Noah was a teammate of Horford’s in the three years they spent together at Florida. Noah has always been known for his energy and passion. His hustle was his calling card and he had a career in both the NCAA and NBA.
Like Horford, Joakim’s calling card was not his calling card. During his college career, he averaged just 12 points per game. His defense and rebounding reflect his efforts, however, and he was arguably the best player on the 2007 championship team. It’s a big deal to make him the greatest player in Florida Gators basketball history.
Noah has turned the same zeal, passion and athletic ability he had during his NCAA days into an NBA career. He had some of the best defensive seasons of all time with the Chicago Bulls. He is best known for being named Defensive Player of the Year in the 2014 season.
The University of Florida is looking for another deep tournament, and perhaps a player like Tre Mann can join that ranks if he and the team impress. Florida will continue to produce NBA talent in the coming years, and it will be fun to watch and see if any of the players join this lucrative team.
frequently asked questions
Who is the best Florida Gators football player?
Emmitt Smith He holds the school record for longest TD run (99 yards) and had the most runs ever at UF. He became the top scorer in NFL history and won three Super Bowls. He was also the MVP of the Super Bowl. It couldn’t be better.
Who wore number 1 for the Gators?
That will change for the 2019 college football season. The Gators officially announced the football team’s jersey numbers on Monday, and these two are at the top of the list, as CJ Henderson and Kadarius Toney both received the prestigious No. 1 jerseys for the upcoming season.
Who doesn’t play for Florida?
The full list can be found below. Tight end Kyle Pitts, receivers Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes and cornerback Marco Wilson have all been turned down to prepare for the NFL Draft. Receiver Jacob Copeland said he will not play because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.
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