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  1. Sports

Gators to honor UF, Tampa legend Andy Owens at Saturday's game

Andy Owens is going back to his Gator roots to be honored at Saturday's home game (noon, ESPN2) against Texas A&M.

The 6-foot-5 forward starred at Florida from 1967-70 and still holds the school record for scoring average in a season: 27.0 points as a senior, and that was before the 3-point shot.

Owens, 69, grew up in Tampa's Seminole Heights and was a high school All-American at Hillsborough, where he remains that school's all-time scoring leader.

He picked Florida over offers from Kentucky and North Carolina.

Owens is one of just six players in UF history to score 40 in a game, getting 41 against Mississippi State on Feb. 21, 1970, in the old "Alligator Alley" gym that the Gators used to play in on campus. It's the third-most points in a game in school history behind Tony Miller (54 in 1972) and Dick Tomlinson (44 in 1963 versus Tampa). He holds the Gator record for most 30-point games in a season with 11 his senior year and has the most consecutive 30-point games with three, the last coming in 1970 with 30 at LSU on Feb. 11 and 30 at Kentucky on Feb. 14.

Owens was selected in the 1970 NBA draft but chose UF law school, graduating in 1972. Eleven years later he was appointed as a judge for the state's 12th Judicial Circuit (DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties) and has been there for the past 34 years.

He will be attending his first Gator home game today since 2014 and will be joined by family and friends.

"I'm very excited, especially with the way we're playing," Owens, who is in the UF Hall of Fame and was named an SEC Basketball Living Legend in 2001, told floridagators.com of the 17th-ranked team. "Everybody should be excited about this basketball team."

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