Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) dribbles the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Sunday, March 8, 2020, in Washington. The Heat won 100-89. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Former Florida Basketball Star Bradley Beal Turns Down Wizards Offer to Enter Free Agency

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.

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.

 

Freshman Frenzy

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.

Professional Career

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).

Forever Florida

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.

Once again, returned to the swamp in September 2021 to serve as the honorary “Mr. Two Bits” before the Florida v. Alabama football game.

https://twitter.com/gatorsmbk/status/1439987534763753473?s=21&t=HFOSw8tmVJbOJb-mGDMNLw

About Shailey Klein

Shailey Klein is a first-year journalism major specializing in sports and media at UF.

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