Washington Wizards star guard and former Florida Gators standout Bradley Beal has been booked to be the honorary Mr. Two Bits for UF’s bout with the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday.
Understanding the multitude of the position, Beal was quick to accept the invitation extended by the Florida athletic department to be Mr. Two Bits for the Gators biggest matchup in The Swamp in nearly a decade.
“I know the whole 'Two Bits' thing is an iconic deal, so when they asked it was pretty much a no-brainer for me," Beal said to FloridaGators.com. “I've never been in a situation like this so I'm kind of getting out of my comfort here, but that's okay. The crowd, I'm sure, will be electrifying."
Beal — a three-time NBA All-Star — returns to Florida for the first time since February of 2020 when he was invited to honor Billy Donovan as his name was etched onto the court at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
Dominating the college ranks in his lone season with the Gators in 2011-12, Beal would account for 14.8 points per game on 44.5 percent from the field and led the team in rebounds with 6.7 and steals with 1.4.
Beal would be vital to the Gators Elite Eight run that season before falling short to Louisville.
Earning first-team All-SEC and All-SEC Freshman honors, Beal would receive significant attention for the NBA Draft, causing him to leave after just one season.
He would be selected third overall to Washington.
However, while he doesn’t regret his decision to leave for the NBA, Beal says he still thinks about the possibility of winning a national championship if he would have stayed one more year at Florida.
“I always say it was short-lived because I love Billy Donovan, and I wanted to win him a national championship, and I always told him that even when he [is] coaching with the Bulls now,” Beal said in an interview with AllGators’ back in July. He even wishes he could “go back in time and go back to school.”
As Mr. Two Bits, Beal gets the chance to return, just in a different fashion.
Heralded as one of the most successful Florida basketball players — if not the most — to play in the NBA, Beal returns to his roots to bring extra juice for an environment slated to already be raucous on Saturday.
Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.