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NBA Draft 2012: Bradley Beal Leaving Florida After Freshman Season

04/13/12 10:42 AM ET AP

Bradley Beal Nba Draft
OMAHA, NE - MARCH 18: Bradley Beal #23 of the Florida Gators attempts a shot in the second half against the Norfolk State Spartans during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 18, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida guard Bradley Beal is turning pro, leaving the Gators after one season.

Beal announced his intentions Friday, declaring for the NBA draft after telling coach Billy Donovan.

The 6-foot-4 Beal is expected to be a lottery pick in the June 28 draft, predicted to go in the top five. Donovan calls the 18-year-old Beal "as mature a kid at this age as I've ever been around."

Beal says his dream is "sitting right here in front of me" and that he's "ready to realize this dream."

Beal averaged 14.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists as a freshman and made the first-team All-Southeastern Conference team.

He is the second player to leave Florida for the NBA after one season during Donovan's 16 years, joining Donnell Harvey (2000).

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Filed by Michael Klopman  |