Younger Wilbekin eyes Florida


As a local player from Gainesville, Scottie Wilbekin has lived up to expectations in his first two years at Florida.

Wilbekin has been a solid contributor off the bench for back-to-back Elite Eight teams and as a junior this season is in line to replace Erving Walker as starting point guard.

But he may not wind up being the only Wilbekin to wear orange and blue in his college career.

Mitchell Wilbekin, Scottie’s younger brother, is drawing interest from a number of Division I schools, including UF. The 6-foot-1, 165 pound Wilbekin, a 2014 prospect, is trying to bounce back from a tough knee injury that sidelined him late in his sophomore year of high school.

“My recruitment slowed down a little bit after the injury,” Wilbekin said. “Coaches want to see if I can bounce back.”

Wilbekin suffered an LCL tear and ACL sprain in late February in a game for The Rock School in Gainesville.

“I was on crutches for four weeks,” Wilbekin said. “The next four weeks I could walk on it, but I couldn’t run or jump.”

Wilbekin played in two tournaments over the summer for Nike Team Florida, the same program that produced his older brother, Chandler Parsons, Nick Calathes and Walter Hodge. He says he feels like he’s back to 100 percent.

“He has worked tirelessly, went to numerous phyiscal therapy sessions, but he’s worked hard on his own,” The Rock coach Justin Harden said. “He’s probably gained in terms of muscle, it’s only probably equated to 5 or 10 pounds but the girth that you’ll see on him is pretty significant. He’s coming along. He’s just probably getting back into real playing shape, because he’s only been able to practice shooting, he hasn’t been able to play for so long out. He’s getting back into it.”

Currently, Wilbekin is drawing interest from Florida, Texas, Baylor and Virginia. He’s taken unofficial visits to both Texas and Baylor.

But staying close to home is another option, and Wilbekin said he hears good things about the Florida program from his older brother.

“He tells me how it’s like family,” Wilbekin said. “We run the same offense at The Rock, the high motion, and I do like their style of play. Coach (Billy) Donovan, he’s a point guard, and he’s proven that he can help get guys to the next level.”