Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here's Another One! the UF Basketball Team Comes Home Triumphant Again

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Here's Another One! the UF Basketball Team Comes Home Triumphant Again

Article excerpt

Byline: JASON SCHNEIDER

GAINESVILLE -- It didn't take long for Florida fans to turn their attention toward yet another national title.

While welcoming the Gator basketball team home at the Gainesville Regional Airport on Tuesday afternoon, orange and blue-clad fans serenaded the back-to-back national champions with chants of "Three-Peat!" and "One more year!"

The Gator players and coaches responded with laughs and smiles, but Florida's four junior starters -- Joakim Noah, Al Horford, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green -- were coy about their future intentions, which made for a bittersweet homecoming.

"It takes a little bit of the fun away [knowing they all might leave]," Florida fan Teresa Mitton said. "But hopefully they'll decide to all come back like last year."

After winning the 2006 title, Noah, Brewer and Horford were projected as first-round picks in the NBA Draft, but opted to stay at Florida and defend their title, which they successfully did Monday night. The Gators beat Ohio State 84-75 in the national championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Florida's charter plane landed 45 minutes late, but the delay and hot afternoon sun did little to dampen the exuberance of the approximately 1,000 fans who skipped work and classes to get autographs and implore UF's stars to make another run at the title.

"It's their choice, but I suspect that whatever one or two will do, the others will do," Gator fan Dan Nass said. "We'd take one or two of those guys coming back. We really hope they come back, but it's what they want to do."

Horford led the team off the plane while clutching the national championship trophy. The 6-foot-10 center held the hardware aloft as he walked past the crowd and deflected questions about a three-peat.

"C'mon man, do you know how hard it is to win two?" Horford said.

Horford wasn't the only one to evade questions about his basketball future. …

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