Former Gator guard Teddy Dupay attended Florida’s team summer basketball camp last weekend and came away impressed with new coach Michael White and his staff.
“Whenever there is a change I think there is always a thought that the worst might happen, the wheels are coming off,” Dupay said. “And it’s quite the opposite. The enthusiasm that everyone around campus has for him, certainly the (assistant) coaches they were doing their thing, looking great. You could tell that they are on cloud nine, really looking forward to the opportunity. And just people that have been part of the university, I’m not surprised, but just really happy to hear how much they like him.”
Dupay said that White should benefit from the talent left behind by Florida coach Billy Donovan, which includes a possible starting frontline next season of USF transfer center John Egbunu, redshirt senior forward Dorian Finney-Smith and rising sophomore forward Devin Robinson. Finney-Smith earned All-SEC second team honors last season, while Robinson made the All-SEC freshman team. Junior point guard Kasey Hill, a former McDonald’s All-American, is another talented player capable of growing into a more consistent player next season.
“They are aware that very rare does a new coach come into this kind of a roster, very rarely, which is pretty neat,” Dupay said. “I think they are ready to make the most of it.”
Dupay will be embarking on his own challenge in a few weeks. On July 15, at the Dream Center of Tampa Gym, the former standout Florida guard will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most 3-pointers in a 24-hour period. The record is 10,381, which was set in 2012.
Dupay said a friend gave him the idea of trying for the record after watching the Today Show and seeing someone get interviewed for breaking the Guinness record for most pull ups.
“My kneejerk reaction was no way, I’m old now,” said Dupay, who will turn 36 on Friday. “I’m not a young kid anymore.”
But Dupay decided if he could find a charity to benefit from the event, he’d give it a shot. That charity is the Academy Prep Center of Tampa and St. Petersburg, a tuition-free institution for middle school aged children that provides high-level education for need-based students. After visiting the school, Dupay was convinced it was the perfect charity for his mission to help kids.
“I was so impressed with how the kids were communicating, the skills that were being taught,” Dupay said. “It’s an amazing education. We’re talking about chess, golf, public speaking, mock trials. The kids are getting real life experience that they may be getting at a 20 to 30 to 40 thousand per year private school.”
So Dupay is gathering sponsors to donate anywhere from a penny to a dime to a dollar per made shot. He’ll have a handful of celebrity observers during the event, including former Tampa Bay Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice, WWE tag team champion and former UF defensive end Thaddeus Bullard (a.k.a. Titus O’Neil) and former Tampa Bay Storm owner Bob Gries.
Dupay said his primary goal is to raise as much as he can for Academy Prep, Breaking the record would be an added bonus.
“Anything is possible,” Dupay said. “I’ve been training. I’m in great shape. I’m in the gym every day. I’m definitely prepared and somebody else did it so you don’t way it’s impossible. This is something where I’m going to have to shoot roughly 80 percent from the 3-point line for 24 hours to break the record and so we will see.”