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April 9, 2014

Walker coming back for 'one more year'



Freshman forward Chris Walker, his college career only 87 minutes old, will indeed return to Florida for his sophomore year of college. Walker announced his decision via his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon, and the news was soon confirmed by UF.

Walker tweeted: "This year has been a great one, and I'm happy to say I will be joining the gatornation again for one more year!"

A five-star prospect out of Bonifay, Fla., Walker was not able to join the Gators this season until Dec. 14 because of academic issues that delayed his arrival until the conclusion of the fall semester. He served an NCAA-mandated 12-game suspension upon arriving for accepting impermissible benefit s during his high school career.

Though his arrival came with plenty of hype, Walker was never able to grasp enough of what the Gators were doing to play a significant role on the team. He only played more than seven minutes in a game once and finished the season with 34 points and 24 rebounds in 18 games.

Despite his limited exposure, Walker was projected as a late first-round pick by ESPN's Chad Ford based solely off potential. Given well-documented financial troubles, it was seen as a possibility that Walker could leave after one year of college basketball. He declined to discuss the possibility during Florida's postseason run but also did not rule it out.

"I want to get both mentally and physically stronger and work on all aspects of my game to make me the best player possible," Walker told Florida's school website. "It will give me an opportunity to build my body and get more one-on-one work with my coaches and put me in the position not only to start next season, but be a main factor."

Walker likely projects as either a starter at power forward or center on the Gators' 2014-2015 squad. Florida loses its three starting frontcourt players from 2013-2014 - Casey Prather, Will Yeguete and Patric Young - to graduation this offseason.


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