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Bradley Beal and Al Horford are two all-time Gator greats.
Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images (left), Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images (right)

It’s hard to wrap your head around how many terrific players have stepped on the hardwood at the O’Connell Center.

Nearly every student who ever attended the University of Florida can say they witnessed greatness, whether it was a team, player or coach. I watched players like Patric Young, Scottie Wilbekin, Michael Frazier II and Dorian Finney-Smith as Billy Donovan tremendous college career came to an end.

For many, though, stepping into the O-Dome brings back fond memories of the back-to-back national championship teams of the mid-2000s. In fact, when creating this team of all-time Florida Gator greats, I seriously thought about just copy and pasting one of those lineups. You can’t go wrong with Al Horford, Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah, Lee Humphrey and Taurean Green.

But if you think back, there are actually a few players more deserving. And just to explain my thought process: I chose my all-time team based on player talent, not necessarily records or stats, though there is a good deal of that.

Without further ado, Florida’s all-time starting five.

Florida Basketball’s All-Time Starting 5

Guard: Jason Williams (1997-98)

Jason Williams dribbled the ball in 1999.
Andy Lyons/Allsport/Getty Images

White chocolate is actually super nasty. Like, spit it out right into the garbage of the Walmart where you bought it. This “White Chocolate” was nasty too, just in a good way.

Jason Williams played just 20 games for the Gators in his lone season, 1997-98. He averaged 17.1 points per game and still holds the program’s single-game record for assists (17 against Duquesne in 1997).

The nifty point guard went on to have a pretty nice career in the NBA, but his legacy lives on in Youtube highlights.

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Guard: Bradley Beal (2011-12)

Bradley Beal talks to Billy Donovan in 2011.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

As far as talent goes, there’s no better choice than Bradley Beal. He spent one season with the Gators, posted terrific numbers and helped Florida to the Elite Eight.

He’s been legitimately one of the best players in the NBA with the Washington Wizards since being drafted third overall in 2012. The three-time All-Star put up 31.3 points per game last season, earning All-NBA honors.

Forward: Mike Miller (1998-2000)

Mike Miller dribbles during the 2000 NCAA Tournament.
Jed Jacobsohn/Staff/Getty Images

I need a knockdown shooter on my all-Florida team, and I’m going to Mike Miller.

Miller averaged 13.3 points per season and shot 34.5 percent from beyond the arc in his two seasons. And who can forget his epic buzzer beater against Butler during the 2000 NCAA Tournament?

He then went on to make 1,590 three-pointers during a lengthy NBA career in which he won two NBA championships with the LeBron/D-Wade Miami Heat.

Forward: Al Horford (2004-07)

Al Horford plays during the 2006 NCAA Divison I Men's Basketball Tournament.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Al Horford was the glue of those back-to-back title teams.

In his junior season before heading to the NBA, he averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest players in Florida history, as are the teams he played a major role on. He’s had a pretty decent NBA career, too.

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Center: Neal Walk (1966-69)

Neal Walk during his Florida Gator days.
AP Photo

Gosh. This one tore me up. Joakim Noah was and still is a legend. But I can’t deny Neal Walk, even if he played more than 50 years ago.

The 6-foot-10 Walk averaged 20.8 points per game in his three-year career — the most ever for any Gator — and grabbed more rebounds (1,181) than anyone in school history.

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He then went second overall to the Phoenix Suns in the 1969 NBA Draft after a coin flip (seriously!) decided the Milwaukee Bucks taking Lew Alcindor AKA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Off the Bench

  • Joakim Noah (2004-07)
  • Udonis Haslem (1998-02)
  • Corey Brewer (2004-07)
  • Vernon Maxwell (1984-88)
  • David Lee (2001-05)
  • Chandler Parsons (2007-11)
  • Matt Bonner (1999-03)
  • Kenny Boynton (2009-13)

MORE: What Happened to David Lee and Where is He Now?

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Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's an SEC homer and a baseball junkie who spends his days defending the Miami Marlins. When he's not glued to a TV, you can find him ...Read more
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