The pain Georgia felt from losing Milton power forward Julian Royal to Georgia Tech was eased somewhat over the weekend as the Bulldogs landed a commitment from a 7-foot junior college center.
John Florveus, a 7-foot, 220-pound center from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa committed to Georgia after taking an official visit to the school over the weekend. The sophomore will have two years of eligibility remaining when he enrolls at UGA next summer.
“I felt like it was the best situation for me to develop and grow and come in and be part of a winning program,” said Florveus, who chose the Bulldogs over Washington State, Marshall, UTEP and Iowa State. “I liked everything about the school and the program and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Florveus said he finished his freshman season averaging 8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game at Hillsborough. The Hawks were Suncoast Conference champions.
“It went all right,” Florveus said of his first season. “It was a learning year for me. Once I got used to things, the speed of the game, I had a pretty good year.”
Hillsborough coach Byron Samuels thinks the Bulldogs struck gold.
“He’s a little bit of a late bloomer, but that doesn’t mean he’s a project,” Samuels said. “He only played two years in high school. He’s 6-11 or 7 feet and he runs the floor like a guard. He blocks, rebounds and is learning how to score. And he’s just an unbelievable kid. He’s a 3.2 student and has taken all the right classes. Everbody here loves him.”
Florveus said he called head coach Mark Fox on Sunday night to commit. That was after spending the weekend in Athens. He said he attended the Georgia football game on Saturday, watched the basketball team practice and hung out with the Bulldogs’ players on the two-day visit.
“I just felt like I fit in really well,” Florveus said.
Florveus is the third member of Georgia’s 2011 class. He joins three-star center Tim Dixon of Oldsmar, Fla., and five-star wing Kentavious Caldwell of Greenville, Ga.
Florveus is originally from Miami where he played varsity basketball for the first time as a junior. He transferred to Dunbar High in Fort Myers as a senior. Without any strong Division I basketball offers, Florveus decided to accept a scholarship offer to Hillsborough.