Sunday, May 10, 2015

Top 3 Gator Centers

So here we are. I have finally made it to my final article in my Top 3 Gator basketball series. I have had a ton of fun taking this trip down memory lane and learning more about the great basketball players who have come through UF. Without further adieu, let me conclude this series with my Top 3 Florida Gator centers of all time!

#3 Neal Walk (1966-1968)

Image result for neal walk florida gators
(left of #51 in the white)

Kicking off my list is Neal Walk. Since Walk played at Florida in the late 60s, I could not really find any specific stats for him. All I could dig up was that he totaled 1600 points and 1181 rebounds in his four-year Gator career. He holds the school record for career rebounds (1181), rebounds in a game (31), and points per game (20.8). These are just a few of Walk's many school records.

His accolades include:

  • Two-time First-Team All-SEC
  • Two-time All-American
  • UF Athletic Hall of Fame member
  • #41 retired by UF, he is the only Gator basketball player to have his number retired
After leading the Gators to their first NIT appearance during his senior year (an 82-66 loss to Temple in the first round), Walk entered the 1969 NBA Draft. He was selected second overall by the Phoenix Suns.  He would go on to a have a modest seven-year career with 7157 total points, 4392 rebounds, and 1214 assists.

#2 Patric Young (2010-2013)
Image result for patric young florida gators

Patric Young was a fan favorite during his four years at UF. A key cog in a tightly knit group of seniors on the 2013 basketball squad, Young helped lead the Gators to the program's fourth ever Final Four. In addition to the Final Four appearance during Young's senior year, the Gators won a school record 36 games while becoming the first team to go 18-0 in SEC play. They won both the SEC regular season and tournament titles this year as well.

During his career at Florida, Young averaged 8.7 points per game for a total of 1307 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for a total of 850 rebounds. He shot 58% from the field and recorded 160 blocks.

Young is the most decorated player on this list as he accolades include:
  • SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014
  • SEC All-Defensive Team in 2014
  • Second-team All-SEC in 2014 
  • SEC Regular Season & Tournament Champion in 2014
  • Three-time All-SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2012, 2013, & 2014
  • Third-team Academic All-American in 2014
  • SEC All-Freshman Team in 2011
  • Second-team Parade All-American in 2010
After a heartbreaking loss to the UConn Huskies in the 2014 Final Four. Young went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft. He played a brief stint with the New Orleans Pelicans, but was waived before even playing in a game. Young did not give up on his dream of playing basketball, however, as he currently plays overseas for Galatasaray in Turkey. Maybe one day his dream of playing in the NBA will come true.

#1 Joakim Noah (2004-2006)
Image result for joakim noah florida gators

Coming in at No.1 is good ol' Joakim Noah. This man right here can be a very tough player to love unless he is on your team. Noah is a legend in Gator lore as helped lead Florida to back-to-back National Championships in 2005 and 2006.

In three seasons for the Orange and Blue, Noah averaged 10.5 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 62% shooting from the field. He scored 1133 points, brought down 687 rebounds, and blocked 186 balls.

In addition to winning two titles, Noah was named NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2006 during the first title run and consensus second-team All-American during his junior year in 2007.

After defeating Ohio State for a second National Championship, Noah declared for the 2007 NBA Draft. He would be selected ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls and currently still plays for the Windy City.

Although he has yet to lead to the Bulls to the Finals, Noah has had a very productive eight-year career up to this point. He has been named to two All-Star Games, two NBA All-Defensive First Teams, one NBA All-Defensive Second Team, one All-NBA First Team and won NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013 season.

Noah and the Bulls just recently took a 2-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after Derrick Rose's buzzer beater on Friday. They will resume action at home on Mother's Day at 3:30 p.m. as they look to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.


I hope you enjoyed this Top 3 article series! With another project done, I will now begin thinking up ideas of a new series to start working on! Thank you to all my readers for your loyalty and readership! Happy Mother's Day to you all! Also, Go Gators!

*All stats accredited to &, & of course "The Source"

*All photos accredited to,, &

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