Bradley Beal Declares For 2012 NBA Draft, Robbing St. Louis Billikens Of A Homecoming Game Next Season

March 24, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton (left) sits in the locker room as guard Bradley Beal (23) answers questions from the media after the game in the finals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the Louisville Cardinals at US Airways Center. The Cardinals defeated the Gators 72-68. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewickel-US PRESSWIRE

St. Louis native and Chaminade College Prep School graduate Bradley Beal officially announced on Friday that he will leave the University of Florida and enter the 2012 NBA Draft.

Florida Gators freshman guard and St. Louis native Bradley Beal officially announced on Friday that he will enter the 2012 NBA Draft, and while it is an exciting time for everyone in his home city, the St. Louis Billikens took a hit with the news. As noted by Keith Robinson of KSDK News in St. Louis, the Billikens had worked out a home tilt against Florida as a sort of homecoming game for Beal, but now he won't be around and the game could be in jeopardy.

Even so, it is an exciting day for Beal and all the same people who would have otherwise been at that game to cheer him on, so now it's all about the NBA dream. Beal is certainly excited (via USA Today):

"It's my dream and it's sitting right here in front of me,'' Beal said. "God has put me in this situation and I have to take advantage of it. I think I'm ready to realize this dream, so now I have to go and pursue it.''

SB Nation's Mike Prada think Beal is a great NBA prospect that prepared himself well for the jump to the pros and that he will learn valuable lessons from his failures in the Elite Eight.

For more NCAA basketball coverage, visit SB Nation's college hoops hub. For more on the Gators, be sure to visit Alligator Army.

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