One of the great points of pride that the University of Florida athletic department can boast of is the success of Bradley Beal, a former star of the Gators basketball team turned NBA All-Star with the Washington Wizards. Given what he did in Gainesville and what he's done beyond it, Beal is welcome back at his alma mater anytime -- As was the case on Saturday, when he arrived to give the Gators football team a big boost.
Before the Florida Gators' game against the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, Bradley Beal served as the honorary "Mr. Two Bits" prior to the game, becoming the latest Florida star to serve a role that has been filled by other notable alumnus since the original Mr. Two Bits, the late George Edmonson, retired following the 2008 season.
Saturday marked the first time that Beal has returned to the University of Florida in nearly two years. He last made a public appearance at his old school in February 2020, when UF dedicated Billy Donovan Court.
"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 in a report by Tyler Nettuno of Gators Wire. "I've never been in a situation like this — 90,000? — so I'm kind of getting out of my comfort here, but that's OK. The crowd, I'm sure, will be electrifying."
Florida had entered Saturday's Week 3 matchup at 2-0 on the season and second in the SEC East, having easily handled both Florida Atlantic and South Florida. But as the Gators go further up the mountain, the steeper the grade will become -- as conference play begins in the SEC.