The 2006-07 UF men's basketball team may have received its national championship rings Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, but former UF forward Chris Richard got a sneak peak at the piece of jewelry in an unlikely location.
The Minnesota Timberwolves forward said he saw a diagram of it in a newspaper clipping, which was hung in a bathroom stall of Ballyhoo Grill restaurant.
BIt didn?t look too good on the drawing,C Richard said.
Richard got a better look at the ring in person when the team was given its rings in a pre-game ceremony, which featured a highlight film of the Gators? back-to-back championship runs as the Final Four?s signature song, BOne Shining Moment," played over the stadium?s loudspeakers.
BIt was pretty exciting,C Richard said. BIt made us all want to go out and play again, especially after watching the highlight film.C
UF coach Billy Donovan addressed the crowd saying, BI?m very happy to still be here in Gainesville,C which elicited raucous cheers and applause.
Former sharpshooter Lee Humphrey was the only member not in attendance. His parents accepted the ring on his behalf, since the guard is currently overseas playing in Greece.
Richard was not wearing the ring when he talked to the media. He had it his pocket, still securely in its black box.
The players arrived in Gainesville on Wednesday and are schedule to leave Monday. Richard said he and his former teammates have hung out together every day, and they still know how to attract attention from the locals.
BMaybe it will change 50 years from now when nobody recognizes who we are,C Richard said. BOther than that, I think it will be like that for a while.C