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Florida Gators naming basketball court after Billy Donovan

The formal introduction will take place on Feb. 15.
In this 2007 file photo, coach Billy Donovan cuts down the net after Florida defeated South Carolina to win at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship.
In this 2007 file photo, coach Billy Donovan cuts down the net after Florida defeated South Carolina to win at least a share of the SEC regular-season championship. [ BRIAN CASSELLA | St. Petersburg Times ]
Published Dec. 6, 2019
Updated Dec. 6, 2019

The Florida Gators are naming their basketball court after legendary coach Billy Donovan.

UF’s board of trustees approved renaming the surface on Friday. And on Feb. 15, it will formally be introduced as Billy Donovan Court. “I was totally shocked,” Donovan said in a statement. “It was really emotional. I didn’t anticipate this. I’m thankful, I’m honored and just incredibly humbled by it all.”

Donovan coached UF to two national titles, four Final Fours, seven Elite Eights and 14 NCAA Tournament berths while leading the Gators from 1996-2015.

“What Billy accomplished here no one ever could have anticipated,” former athletic director Jeremy Foley said. “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.”

The formal ceremony will be at UF’s game against Vanderbilt. Donovan, now the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be present because it’s during the NBA All-Star break.