"I think there are several reasons," David Bailey, Winter Park's coach told Scout.com. "The style Florida plays is very appealing and they like to push the ball. They've got national championships and they've done a good job getting guys ready to play at the next level. He's extremely competitive and he tries to win every drill."
"I've been talking to them for a about a year now since the beginning of my freshman year," Rivers told Scout.com. "The staff and everybody … I just started getting a good relationship with everyone over there and that's what it comes down to. That's when I decided to make my commitment."
Rivers averaged 13.9 points a game at Olympia (Fla.) Winter Park. Rivers shot 38 percent behind the arc and had a season-high 30 points in one game last year. On the AAU circuit, he's been tremendous.
Rivers attended the Gators Elite Camp last month and from that point on, became a priority. "They want me to help them choose and figure out who to play with," Rivers said. "It's a great college, campus and facility. I just think I'll have a really good time playing there. He likes to come off pick and rolls and I'm good at creating for others."
Rivers is no ordinary freshman. He's the brother of Indiana guard Jeremiah Rivers and the son of Boston Celtics head coach Glen Rivers. As a freshman, he rates as one of the most competitive guards these eyes have ever seen at that age. He's a lot like his future college coach. "He has a lot of passion for the game. He gets into it and so do I. I have losing and so does he. We have the same image about basketball and do anything to win."
What lessons does dad pass along to his son? "I think confidence really. (he says) you have to go in there every night, even if you are off. He says there's always something you can do besides scoring the ball and that's helped me a lot."
By the time Rivers hits Gainesville he's have not only a masters in winning, but a doctorate as well. He had a front row seat for the Celtics championship run and was able to share in the celebration and behind the scenes stories of Kevin Garnett and Co.'s fabled run to the world title.
"You see (the players) coming in all cool with star status but you see these guys after the game going crazy … I just want to win one of those one day so bad. You realize that if you keep working and pushing yourself its possible to win one of those."
Rivers felt like for Garnett, the championship run was the sweetest. "Garnett, the guy in practice is crazy in a good way. Basically, he's a coach/player. When they had to fine players for being late it was Kevin Garnett's decision. It meant the most to him and he wanted the championship so bad."
And clearly the Gators wanted Austin Rivers in a bad way too!