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Eric Hester to transfer from Florida

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The freshman guard played sparingly in his lone season with the Gators.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas-Little Rock at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Freshman guard Eric Hester will transfer from Florida, the school announced this afternoon. Hester was the first player to commit to the Gators under coach Mike White.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Clearwater took part in 20 games this season, averaging 2.2 points in 5.6 minutes per game. Hester saw limited playing time for the Gators, but did have one shining performance in orange and blue.

In Florida’s 106-71 rout of LSU, Hester played 17 minutes off the bench and went 5-for-5 from the three-point line, scoring a career-high 16 points. Those five threes constituted the most three-pointers by a Florida freshman without a miss in 15 years. Hester’s contributions also helped the Gators hit a school-record 19 threes in the victory.

Hester saw a bit more playing time after that performance, but his minutes lessened following John Egbunu’s injury as the Gators changed their lineup. The freshman only appeared in two of Florida’s final nine games.

Hester will leave the Gators at the end of the spring semester. Under NCAA transfer eligibility rules, he will have to sit out the 2017-18 season if he chooses to go to another Division I program. Hester’s exit also provides the Gators with an additional available roster spot for next season.