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24 E.J. Floreal

ej floreal
E.J. Floreal
Hometown (Last School)
Palo Alto, Calif. (Dunbar)
2014-15, 2015-16, 2013-14
March 23, 1995

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E.J. Floreal was born Edrick Floreal on March 23, 1995, in Atlanta, Georgia to Edrick and LaVonna Martin-Floreal.  Both parents were Olympic athletes.  His mom was a silver medalist in the 1992 Olympic Games in the 100m hurdles, while his dad competed for Canada in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics.  His father was UK’s head track and field coach at the time E.J. walked on at Kentucky

Floreal played his first three high school seasons in California where he was an All-State honorable mention selection as a junior.  He also claimed league MVP honors as a junior and was a top-10 sprinter in Northern California.  Floreal averaged 12.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in one season with Paul Dunbar in Lexington.  He was a second-team All-City selection in his senior season and was named MVP of the Buckeye-Bluegrass game.  Floreal also ran track at Dunbar where he finished fourth in the 100 meters (10.98 seconds) and third in the 200 (21.37) in the Class 3-A state meet.   

On June 10, 2013, a tweet from Floreal made it clear that he would walk on for Kentucky.  He tweeted a photo that showed his nameplate (with the No. 24) occupying a spot in the UK locker room.

Floreal appeared in three games as a walk-on freshman.  He saw his first career conference action with a minute against Mississippi State.  Floreal scored two points on a dunk and added a steal and block in Kentucky’s win over Robert Morris.  He also logged a bucket and a steal in two minutes of action in UK’s exhibition win over Transylvania.  One of his favorite memories came when he caused a stir by dunking  on Julius Randle during the Blue-White scrimmage on October 29, 2013.  When asked what happened, Randle smiled and said, “I don’t really know. I was on the weak side, I saw him. At first, I was, like, I’m not about to jump. Just let him go.”  Then, Randle changed his mind. “What the heck, I’m going to jump,” Randle said.  Too late. By then, Floreal was near the rim. “He got me,” Randle said.  The best part was that even their teammates were laughing and enjoying the moment. “They were still giving it to him after the game,” Calipari said.

As a sophomore, Floreal made the SEC Academic Honor Roll for the first time in his career.  He played in a career-high 13 games during his second season with the Wildcats including action in four postseason games.  Floreal also earned his first career minutes in the NCAA Tournament in wins over Hampton and West Virginia.  He scored on a pair of dunks while adding an assist in each of UK’s exhibition wins to begin the season.

As a junior, Floreal made the SEC Academic Honor Roll for the second time.  He appeared in a career-high-tying 13 games, playing 12 minutes .  Floreal saw action in two of the Wildcats’ three SEC Tournament games.  He grabbed a career-high two rebounds in the home victory over Alabama and played a season-high-tying three minutes in the win over Georgia on February 9.  He also logged three minutes with a rebound in the win over Missouri.

Floreal did not return to the basketball team his senior year choosing instead to focus on track full-time.

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