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Thursday March 7, 2013 Young living in (and loving) the here and now, not dwelling on NBA

Updated: 2:42pm, March 7

Pat and net

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- As he climbed the ladder and snipped the twine, the chants of “SEC! SEC! SEC!” from the Florida student section momentarily gave way Wednesday night to send a different message to center Patric Young.


Young, the 6-foot-9, 260-pound junior, had just won his second outright Southeastern Conference title in three seasons. He is projected as a late-first, early second-round pick in the 2013 NBA draft and thus got the serenade from the Florida fans in the O’Connell Center following UF’s 66-40 defeat of Vanderbilt.

The want Young back for his senior season.

“I don’t have to make that decision any time soon,” Young said. “I'm going to have to make it some time in the future.”

The deadline for underclassmen to declare is in late-April, actually, which leaves him of plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons.

Meanwhile, there’s some pressing business relative to this year and Young’s current situation. No. 11 UF plays Saturday at Kentucky, where the Gators have not won in six years, so that's going to be the focus of Coach Billy Donovan and his players right now.

Besides, don’t think for a moment that Young isn’t enjoying life as a Gator, including the daily challenges put to him by Donovan. This is a great kid, great Christian and great student who cares about the program and, above all, his teammates.

Right now, Florida is where he wants to be, where his focus is.

“They’re thinking about [the NBA decision], but I’m not,” Young said. “I love being here. There’s no better program in America. I love playing under Coach Donovan. I’m going to do whatever is best for me and my family and whatever makes me happy, honestly. When I look back, I want to say I lived at Florida to the maximum.”

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