BASKETBALL: Gators land Huertas as latest commit

As reported first on, David Huertas commited to the Florida Gators and Coach Billy Donovan. We talked with David's AAU coach, Art Alvarez about David's commitment and his thoughts.

In a phone conversation with Art Alvarez, the Head Coach of the Miami Tropics basketball team, he couldn't help but glow about his star basketball player from Jacksonville. Earlier today, Jacksonville Arlington Country Day Guard David Huertas called Coach Donovan to inform him of his commitment to the University if Florida. The 6-5, 190 player, ranked #61 in the Insiders current national rankings, should go a long way in getting this recruiting class on a roll as the Gator's first commitment.

In addition to Huertas' #61 national ranking, he is considered among the top shooting guards in the nation and has a very sweet stroke from beyond the arc. When he scored 39 points in the championship game of the Team Florida camp he made a big impact on Coach Donovan and many other coaches and landing his commitment became a priority. Fortunately Coach Donovan was able to best his mentor, Rick Pitino of Louisville for Huertas' services.

Coach Alvarez praised Huertas' skills as a ball handler and a shooter as he talked about all the schools that recruited David hard. "The likes of Arizona, Kansas, St. John's, Virginia, Florida State, Miami and more were all relentless in their pursuit of David and all did a great job of doing so." He said Coach Donaovan was "Really impressed with his work ethic, that he was a team player, and that he was not afraid of competition."

In choosing the Florida Gators, David also turned down scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Arkansas, North Carolina State, Indiana, Memphis and Northeastern.

What set the University of Florida apart from the rest with Mr. Huerta? "He loved the campus, and liked the fact that he was the first guard Billy wanted to recruit. It was very important to his mother that the school was only 60 miles away from his home in Jacksonville."

"To have my mother close to me was very important, and I really loved the school and the style, the coaches," confirms Huertas. "To be here today, I never thought this would happen. It's like a dream come true for me. To have all these schools wanting me, it was just an unbelievable feeling."

He also appreciated Coach Donovan's up-and-down frantic style of basketball and feels it's a perfect fit for him. Another factor was Donovan's history of producing excellent guards like Mike Miller and Jason Williams in addition to Anthony Roberson who will likely be drafted by the NBA next year.

On Coach Donovan, Art Alvarez added, "He likes Billy (Donovan) very much, he's a very sincere person. He's a guard oriented coach and shows it with the likes of Mike Miller and Jason Williams in his past." Still glowing, "He went to Gainesville last week for an unofficial visit and was at the Florida team camp where Billy saw him win 11 straight games including 40 points in the final."

Did any other coaches or players have an influence on David's recruitment? "Anthony Grant -- I take my hat off to him. He worked him real hard and did well with David's recruitment." He went on to add, "He met Mike Miller and Jason Williams while in Gainesville."

The Gators landed a great player and certainly one of the top 2 targets on their entire recruiting board. Coach Alvarez was a pleasure to talk to and showed the adoration he had for his player in his voice - they're apparently like father and like son to each other. Alvarez has a lot to be proud of in Huertas, and so will the Florida Gators as they look to a bright future with David.

Photos courtesy of Hoop-Rap.

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