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Spruel leaving Gators

May 13, 1997

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida sophomore Kendrick Spruel, a highly regarded recruit who missed half the season with injuries, is leaving the Gators’ basketball team.

Spruel, a 6-foot-9 forward from Baton Rouge, La., averaged only 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds this year. He missed the first three games with a sprained knee, injured his hip midway through the season and sat out the last 11 games with a broken wrist.

He said he planned to transfer, although he might be through with basketball.

``At this point in my life, I need to make a decision on whether I want to continue playing basketball or concentrate on being a student,″ Spruel said in a statement.

Spruel is the second player in former coach Lon Kruger’s final recruiting class to leave the program.

Coach Billy Donovan, who was 13-17 in his first year at Florida, said he supported Spruel’s decision.

``If he chooses to go to another college to play basketball, I will make any necessary calls I can to help him get into another program,″ Donovan said.

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