- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 26, 2019

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Former Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is transferring to Florida and will be eligible to play immediately.

Blackshear announced his decision via Instagram on Wednesday night, choosing the Gators over Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

His formal paperwork is expected to be completed later this week.

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“First of all want to thank coach Buzz (Williams) and the amazing staff over these past four years,” Blackshear wrote in his social media post. “This team has become my family and I am so thankful for it. I also want to thank my Blacksburg family for taking a young kid from Orlando and showing him what home is. … My next chapter will begin in Gainesville, Florida.”

Blackshear averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior last season. He grew up in nearby Orlando and made an unofficial visit to Florida three weeks ago.

Blackshear will be eligible to play right away as a graduate transfer and should make Florida a trendy pick to win the Southeastern Conference. The 6-foot-10 big man notched five double-doubles in the Hokies’ final 10 games last season, including 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists in a loss to top-seeded Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

He joins a team that returns three starters after ending the season with a second-round loss to Michigan in the NCAA Tournament. Florida coach Mike White also has his best recruiting class headed to Gainesville, a group that includes McDonald’s All-Americans Scottie Lewis and Tre Mann.

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