Florida bling: Gators get national championship rings

Updated: September 9, 2006, 7:59 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida men's basketball team received its national championship rings Saturday in front of about 90,000 screaming fans, including former players Mike Miller, David Lee and Dwayne Schintzius.

A short highlight video played on two big replay screens before athletic director Jeremy Foley presented players with the jewelry, featuring an orange basketball falling through a blue net.

Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer, Al Horford and others slipped on the rings, danced a bit, then walked off Florida Field before the football team played Central Florida.

"It's exciting, in front of so many people, so many Gator fans that really appreciate what you do on the floor," guard Lee Humphrey said. "It's fun to get out there and hear their applause. I don't think it can get much bigger than this."

About 75 former players, coaches, family members and recruits attended the ceremony. Coach Billy Donovan held a cookout and played pickup games before the event.

"It was exciting because a lot of the alumni and past players came back, showing us a lot of love, and we like it," forward Chris Richard said. "I don't think we ever realized how many people were supporting us as far as alumni and ex-basketball players until today. It was great."


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press