Heart of the Game: Father proud of Billy Donovan

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- To say Bill Donovan Sr. is proud of his son Billy is an understatement. The elder Donovan, who you will usually find sitting behind the Gator's bench on game day, saw Billy's love for the game from the moment he built his son a backyard court at their home in long island.

"I knew in some way, shape or form he'd be in basketball. Whether in be on a high school level or whatever. He loved it and when of course Rick Pitino got the Kentucky job and when he hired Billy to be one of his assistants. He was off and running."

"It's been absolutely amazing to see how he's grown since he started here at Florida. And what's he's been through with Marshall, Kentucky and Florida it's been a blessing," said Bill Sr. "We've been so fortunate to see him grow and watch him elevate his coaching abilities."

To a success stint at Marshall and now at Florida, Billy has built the gators program into one of the elite in the country.

Bill Sr. is most proud of how Billy has developed his relationship with his son who's a guard on the Gator Basketball team.

"You know that these coaches spend so much time with their jobs that it's hard to spend a lot of time with their families," said Bill Sr. "So, to have Billy have his son around every day has been a blessing for him it really has.

"When you build a program it's hard, but now that I think he's got it established, I think he's got his priorities a little more in terms of his family and stuff, he's got the balance much better than he did when he first started."


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