GAINESVILLE -- Chris Walker’s roller coaster career at Florida has come to an end.
Despite two unimpressive seasons, the former McDonald’s All-American officially declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, UF announced Friday.
“I want to thank the coaching staff, my teammates and everyone at Florida for my experience here,” Walker said in a statement.
“I’m excited to continue pursuing my dream of playing professionally.”
The 6-foot-10 sophomore averaged just 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds last season, failing to fulfill sky-high expectations as a former five-star prospect and top-10 recruit.
He totaled 80 career field goals (25 of which were dunks), scored in double figures just five times and never grabbed as many as seven rebounds in a single game.
"Chris has been a pleasure to coach," UF coach Billy Donovan said.
"He is a great kid with a lot of potential, and everyone here wishes the absolute best for him."
Walker, who possesses elite athleticism, leaves as an unpolished product with a low basketball IQ, minimal development and a complete lack of defensive awareness.
The forward/center could never escape the burdening shadow of hope and hype, as he initially failed to qualify academically and then struggled to find a role on a veteran Final Four team in 2013-14.
Walker was still projected as a late first round pick last year, but he opted to return for his sophomore season to improve his game.
His stock has now slipped significantly, as he’s no longer regarded as Top 100 prospect according to ESPN, DraftExpress or CBSSports.
********** UPDATE **********
ESPN basketball analyst Jeff Goodman seemingly confirms whispers Walker no longer had a spot at Florida (reportedly academics) had he not opted to go pro.
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