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Heritage guard Boynton Jr. commits to UF

GAINESVILLE -- Plantation American Heritage senior guard Kenny Boynton Jr. committed to Florida and Gators coach Billy Donovan on Thursday. Boynton Jr. announced his decision on ESPNU.

Boynton Jr. (6-2, 187 pounds) made official visits to UF, USC and Georgia Tech. He visited UF last weekend for the homecoming festivities. Boynton Jr. attended Gator Growl and the football game. He's rated as one of the top recruits in the country for the 2009 recruiting cycle, according to both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He is ranked No.13 in the nation in the ESPNU Top 100.

"I took numerous visits to all the schools that were recruiting me and on my Florida visit I was very comfortable," Boynton Jr. said. "Me and Billy Donovan, we have a great relationship and we just clicked."

Boynton Jr. is an excellent shooter, great perimeter defender and can drive to the basket with authority. Most of all, Boynton Jr. is a ferocious competitor and the importance of that addition to the current Gators' basketball roster cannot be overstated.

"Next year I feel I'm going to be a big piece of the team and we're going to try to get to the Final Four," said Boynton Jr., who joins fellow 2009 UF commitments Erik Murphy (6-10 forward of Southborough, Mass) and Deshawn Painter (6-9 forward of Chatham, Va.).

Boynton Jr. began his high school career at Pompano Beach Ely, winning a state championship with the Tigers in 2007 before transferring to American Heritage. Along the way, Boynton has played AAU basketball for Team Breakdown, a powerhouse hoops program in South Florida.

Current UF freshmen Ray Shipman (Miami Monsignor Pace) and Eloy Vargas (Plantation American Heritage) played with Boynton for Team Breakdown.

"We're real cool friends," Shipman said during UF's preseason basketball media day. "I talked to [Boynton Jr.] when he came up here just to visit. Me, Kenny and Eloy all played together so it'd be crazy if all of us get to reunite."

According to Boynton Jr., Donovan used a creative technique during the early stages of the recruiting process. The coach traveled to Fort Lauderdale equipped with a dart gun for a home visit with Boynton Jr.

"He laid a dart gun down and he said he wanted me to shoot him if he was talking recruiting," Boynton Jr. said. "Unfortunately by the end of the night I didn't shoot him with a dart gun, so I guess he did a good job."

-jo-

Kenny Boynton Jr. Highlight Video

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