Former Florida Basketball star Bradley Beal is a free agent for the first time in his 10-year career with the Washington Wizards. According to his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Beal declined his $36.4 million player option.
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal has declined his $36.4M option and become a free agent, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @PrioritySports tells ESPN. Beal is eligible to sign a 5-year max to return to Wizards – or sign elsewhere on a 4-year deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2022
Straight Out of Missouri
Beal was born and raised in St. Louis, MO, and quickly rose to the top of recruiting rankings throughout his high school career at Chaminade College Preparatory School. He rose so high that, he became the No. 5 high school player in the nation behind Anthony Davis.
During his senior year, he was named the 2011 Gatorade National Player of the Year, McDonald’s All American and Jordan Brand All-American before he arrived in Gainesville. Beal returned to the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star game in 2022 and offered advice for current prospects.
NBA All-Star Bradley Beal recalling his time as a high school player @Jumpman23 classic and dropping nuggets of wisdom. Listen to his important message for today’s player. @RealDealBeal23 @JasonRossJr1 pic.twitter.com/TApKjWaLRT
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) April 19, 2022
Starting out, Beal entered the scene at Florida as the highest-ranked recruit ever to wear a Gator basketball jersey. The Missouri native quickly made his name known in the college basketball realm.
Not only did Beal lead the Gators back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007, but also advance to the Elite Eight. He averaged 14.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 1.4 spg in his first and only season with the Gators.
After his freshman campaign, Beal achieved a first-team Southeastern Conference selection in addition to an All-SEC freshman team selection. As a result, Beal’s success at Florida positioned him to be an early selection in the 2012 NBA draft.
Beal was selected No. 3 overall in the 2012 NBA draft and earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Throughout the past 10 years of his NBA career, Beal has been named an NBA All-Star three times (2018, 2019, 2021).
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 10, 2021
In February 2020, Beal returned to Gainesville for the dedication of “Billy Donovan Court” at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, alongside many former Gator basketball legends.
— Florida Gators Men’s Basketball (@GatorsMBK) February 15, 2020
Once again, returned to the swamp in September 2021 to serve as the honorary “Mr. Two Bits” before the Florida v. Alabama football game.