Former Gators helping current stars improve
Around the Florida basketball practice facility these days, the pickup games include three former members of the Gators' two-time national championship team who are trying to help mold a new generation of players.
Al Horford, Taurean Green and Lee Humphrey have spent time this summer joining the pickup games with the current Gators, in-between attending summer classes.
It's been great, we've been going real hard,'' sophomore guard Nick Calathes said this week. "We've got just 10 guys, but Lee, Al, and Taurean plays with us so I think they really help us a lot too on the court. Them being at the NBA level helps us a lot.''
Aside from the tough love the former players are showing on the court, Calathes said they have also spent time trying to impart the wisdom of mental toughness to Calathes and his teammates, including Chandler Parsons and Jai Lucas.
"The thing they are trying to tell us most is just (how important) it is to practice everyday, wanting to play every night and getting the freshman coming in just like we are, playing every day,'' Calathes said. And just coming in the gym working out.''
Calathes said he's tried to take on more of a leadership role since the season ended, but ultimately success will be a team effort.
"I've taken on leadership a lot and I've tried to help the guys out, but I think we all know what it's going to take because we've been through it last year,'' he said. "We don't want that same thing happening.''