Parsons, Macklin Add to Donovan Legacy

In the 15 years prior to Billy Donovan taking over the Gator Basketball program Florida had a total of just 7 players drafted by the NBA and just one of them (Dwayne Schintzius, 1990) was a first rounder.

Thursday night Chandler Parsons and Vernon Macklin were second round picks by the Houston Rockets and Detroit Pistons respectively giving Donovan 15 NBA selections in as many seasons at Florida. Donovan had had eight guys chosen in the first round --- Jason Williams, Mike Miller, Donnell Harvey, David Lee, Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer and Marreese Speights.

Parsons and Macklin are the sixth and seventh of Donovan's Gators to be chosen in round two, joining Matt Bonner, Chris Richard, Taurean Green, Nick Calathes and believe it or not Christian Drejer.

Donovan's legacy stretched into the NBA finals this year with Brewer getting a ring with the Dallas Mavericks while Miller and Udonis Haslem reached the finals with the Miami Heat.

Parsons' selection puts the finishing touch on one of the more interesting careers in Gator history. Parsons came in viewed by many as a tag along with the more highly touted Calathes. He was part of a signing class that was put under tremendous pressure to live up to the accomplishments of the "0h-fours" who won consecutive NCAA Titles.

Obviously the Gators have not won a title since, but Parsons was a key to the transition from two NIT bids to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. Along the way he led the Gators to an SEC Championships and was named the conference player of the year. Parsons finished his career with over 14-hundred points (1,452), 800 rebounds (859) and 300 assists (339). He's the only player in Florida history to reach all three of those milestones.

Macklin enters the NBA after a college career that saw him play very little in his first two seasons at Georgetown followed by a redshirt season with the Gators. He was a big part of the Gators' success the past two seasons, averaging 11 points and 5.5 rebounds.

So two more Gators enter the NBA, giving Florida one of the larger contingents in the league. Parsons and Macklin have excellent chances to make their respective teams, but both have work to do. Parsons must get stronger and Macklin needs to be a better rebounder. One thing they also have on common --- both desperately need to become better free throw shooters.

And the legacy of the greatest coach in Gator Basketball history continues to grow.

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