When Florida offered a scholarship to Nick Calathes, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound shooting guard did not take long to think about accepting the offer from Billy Donovan. The class of 2007 prospect from Lake Howell High School in Winter Park Fla., wasted little time to accept the opportunity to play for the home state program. Rivals.com caught up with the future Gator and he told us why he made an early decision to the SEC program.
Calathes, one of the top rising prospects in the Southeast, verbally committed to the University of Florida. The shooting guard received an offer from the Gators prior to the Boo Williams Invitational and the talented youngster wasted little time in picking the program as his college home.
"It's an honor to play for the home state school really. It's something that I've been thinking about," Calathes said. "I believe we have a chance to win a National Championship and why not do that for the state school."
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Calathes took the Sunshine State by storm this season. He's continued his pace on the AAU circuit by beating some of the top powers in-state already in regional play. He'll suit up with a very talented Team Florida 16 and under team this summer. His game is mature beyond years and the rising junior hopes to have that some kind of mature impact when he gets to Florida.
"One of the reasons why I committed to them so early was because I wanted to really get into their system," he said. "I want to know how they work their program and what they do to make everything go.
"Coach Donovan told me he's going to send me some tapes and help me prepare for what they'll do. I'll be going to a lot of their practices on my own just so I know what's going on. I want to go there and be prepared like I've already been there for two years."
He also alluded to the fact that Florida is not afraid to play freshmen. The potential to play right away was appealing, he says.
"They like to play their freshmen there. Look at Tauren Green. He played 20 minutes a game. Corey Brewer and Al Horford both started as freshmen. I hope I can come in and do the same thing."
Florida State and Miami both offered a scholarship to Calathes on Wednesday.
"I was already decided on Florida when they offered," he said.