Former assist king happy for Walker

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Ronnie Montgomery said he had a feeling his record was going to be broken sooner or later.

“It’s been 24 years,” Montgomery said by phone on Thursday. “I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”

The former Florida point guard said he was happy that Erving Walker broke his school record for career assists (503). Montgomery amassed the assists during a UF career that spanned from 1985-88. Walker passed Montgomery with his 504th and 505th career assist Tuesday night at Alabama.

Montgomery was honored at the O’Connell during a stop in play at the Florida-Tennessee game. He said he wanted to meet Walker after the game, but following UF’s 75-70 loss to Tennessee, Donovan allowed no visitors in the locker room.

“I waited for 40 minutes, then had somewhere else to go,” Montgomery said. “That’s OK, though. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet him again.”

Following his UF career, Montgomery played two-and-a-half years professionally in Brazil, then went on to coach in his native Jacksonville. He’s currently working at a pair of golf courses in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and judging from this video, is fairly crafty driving golf carts.

“I’m not rich, but I’m happy,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery was part of the 1987 UF team that made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. In three NCAA Tournament games, Montgomery had 6 assists. Unfortunately, the three games were stricken from the record books due to sanctions incurred during the Norm Sloan era.

But Montgomery has fond memories of his days at Florida and the unity the team developed. He still keeps in touch with Pat Lawrence and former team manager Eric Palms.

“If you went out, you would always see us together,” Montgomery said. “You would never see one of us alone.”

Other notes:

— Former Gator standout Mike Miller was named as one of the 12 SEC legends to be honored at the SEC Tournament in New Orleans. It’s unclear at this point if Miller will be able to make it to be recognized. The Miami Heat will be on a three-game homestand during March 8-11. Miller will have games with the Heat on March 7 and March 10.

— Florida sophomore center Patric Young didn’t use his ailing ankle as an excuse for his declining rebounding numbers. Young has averaged just 4.9 rebounds over his last nine games. “I’m aware of it,” Young said following UF’s 61-52 win over Alabama. “I don’t know. The ball just isn’t bouncing my way.”