UF to name court af­ter for­mer coach

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND -

that was im­por­tant to him,” Strick­lin said. “Dur­ing my time at Ken­tucky, I had a front-row seat for the im­pact Billy made, not just on the Florida pro­gram but our league. You saw the kind of coach and per­son he was, and the re­spect he had around the coun­try. This was just an ob­vi­ous way to honor him.”

Fo­ley, who stepped down as AD in the fall of 2016, said, “What Billy ac­com­plished here no one ever could have an­tic­i­pated. There’s prob­a­bly a whole gen­er­a­tion that thinks Florida bas­ket­ball has al­ways been on the map. Is that true? The an­swer to that ques­tion is ‘No.’ Pock­ets of suc­cess, yes, but then he came in here and built a pro­gram that is rec­og­nized as a na­tional brand.

Ob­vi­ously, he did it with an out­stand­ing group of as­sis­tant coaches and an in­cred­i­ble sup­port staff, but at the end of the day, Billy Dono­van cre­ated some­thing very spe­cial here.”

UF coach Mike White, who re­placed Dono­van in the spring of 2015, said nam­ing the court for his pre­de­ces­sor was a no­brainer.

“It’s a given,” White said. “To me, the way peo­ple re­vere him as a hu­man be­ing in this pro­fes­sion says as much about him as the games and cham­pi­onships he won.

This is some­thing that def­i­nitely needed to hap­pen.”

ROB FOLDY/GETTY

For­mer UF coach Billy Dono­van cuts off a piece of the net af­ter the Ga­tors beat Ken­tucky in March 2014 to com­plete an 18-0 sea­son in the SEC.

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