Much has been made about Kentucky's outstanding basketball freshmen class and how many of them are in the 'one and done' category with their next stop being the NBA.
One freshman not in that category will enjoy the Wildcats' upcoming trip to the NCAA Final Four and, most likely, look forward to contributing to Kentucky's success in the coming years.
Former Palo Alto High basketball standout E.J. Floreal is a walk-on freshman at Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Kentucky Athletics.
Floreal, one of nine freshmen, is not among the Kentucky stars this season, which continued with a 75-72 win over Michigan on Sunday n the Midwest Regional final. Far from it. The 6-foot-3 freshman guard from Dunbar High has spent his time during the Wildcats' 28-10 season on the bench.
Floreal has played in three games, all of four minutes. He mad his only field-goal attempt, has one rebound, one block and one steal. Safe to say Floreal is not declaring early for the NBA draft.
Floreal averaging 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds last season, his first at Paul Dunbar High in Lexington. He was a second-team All-City selection. He also ran track, where he finished fourth in the 100 meters (10.98) and 200 (21.37) at the Class 3-A Kentucky State Meet.
Floreal left Palo Alto when his father, Edrick, left his job as Stanford's head track and field coach and took at similar job at the University of Kentucky.
E.J. selected Kentucky over Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Cal Poly and Santa Clara. While he's not getting a lot of playing time this season, he is getting a basketball education. Moreover, he's getting a trip to the Final Four.