Zippy Broughton to return to Florida women's basketball for final season

Graham Hall
Gator Sports
View Comments

Florida women’s basketball senior guard Zippy Broughton will utilize her additional year of eligibility and return to the program for the 2022-23 season, Broughton announced Friday. 

"Gator Nation! I am blessed to have been welcomed into this amazing university with open arms," Broughton said. "I am also very excited to share one last year with the best fanbase, and family, in the nation. Go Gators!"

After transferring from Rutgers prior to the 2021-22 campaign, Broughton excelled in UF’s backcourt, averaging 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals per contest.

Broughton upped her game in SEC play and became UF’s second-leading scorer behind sixth-year guard Kiara “Kiki” Smith, averaging 13.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game across 14 SEC games. 

Coach award:Florida women's basketball coach Kelly Rae Finley named 2022 Rookie Coach of the Year

New coach:Florida women's basketball: Tamisha Augustin joins Kelly Rae Finley's staff as assistant

NCAA Tournament:Florida Gators women's basketball vs. UCF Knights in NCAA Tournament 2022

Gators guard Zippy Broughton (4) returns the ball against UCF Knights guard Shania Meertens (31) in the first half at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.

Zippy Broughton stepped in larger role after Kiki Smith injury

A native of Wetumpka, Alabama, Broughton started in 19 of the 30 games she played under coach Kelly Rae Finley. She scored in double-digits 17 times during the season, including a career-best 28-point performance in UF’s comeback win over Texas A&M.

Memorable moment:Kelly Rae Finley cried over injured Florida Gators star Kiki Smith. Fans on Twitter loved it

Following the loss of Smith in the SEC Tournament, Broughton stepped into an even larger role as both the team’s main facilitator and scoring threat. In UF’s first-round loss to UCF in the NCAA Tournament, Broughton finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists, though she felt as if she could have done more to extend UF’s season. 

“I wasn’t able to lead as I felt like I should have,” Broughton said, “and they couldn’t depend on me, and Nina (Rickards) stepped up big time.” 

With an extra year of eligibility and a desire to improve her game, Broughton insinuated a return to UF was on the horizon in the immediate aftermath of Florida’s defeat. 

“So, I know next year I’ll have the point guard spot, and we already keep talking about it," she said. "I’m going to be going through a lot of extensive point guard college this summer, being able to lead the team appropriately."

Now that Broughton’s decision to return is official, the Gators will return three of their top four scorers from last season. Despite her injury, Smith is expected to be selected Monday in the WNBA Draft. 

View Comments