Horford Almost Sure To Go To Michigan

Jon Horford of Grand Ledge High School is following in the family tradition of excelling in basketball. A slight path deviation will be the projected conference choice. His Dad, Tito, was a 1985 McDonald's All-America competing for LSU and Miami collegiately before an abbreviated three-year NBA career.



Recruited to Gainesville by Alabama's Anthony Grant during his tenure as a Florida assistant, older brother Al celebrated two consecutive NCAA titles with the Gators and is currently flourishing as an NBA All-Star with the Atlanta Hawks.

Jon Horford's college selection is imminent with Michigan being the likely favorite, with California and Providence the other schools surviving the cut list for his services. As for the other suitors, Horford has either politely declined their advances or they have parted ways with him. His unofficial visits have been to Michigan, Michigan State, Alabama and Florida.

"Honestly I'm probably leaning more to staying in-state is the reason why I haven't taken any official visits," he said. "Probably an 80 per cent chance I'll stay in-state." A decision is forthcoming in the next week or so according to Horford.

Averaging 13 rpg and 6 blocks, basketball partisans will love the conventional big man's role he embraces. "I'd like to say rebounding, blocking shots – stuff that I can control at all times," said the power forward about the strengths of his game. "You can't always control if you're going to get the ball. You're going to get triple-teamed. If they want to shut you down they can," he said.

Simulated practice drills replicating the double-and-triple-teaming game experiences has enhanced Horford's passing skills.

"Jon doesn't care if he gets an assist or a dunk or a three," declared Grand Ledge Coach Tony Sweet. "He is a very competitive kid. He plays hard and does a good job for us."

Versatility and unselfishness are two traits Horford possesses.

"As a 6-9 kid in high school, he stays under the basket but he's the type of kid that helps us beat the press. He will do well in an up tempo environment," Sweet said.

Competing in Michigan's top classification, a district finals loss concluded Grand Ledge's season with 12-10 record. "You always feel like you can do better especially from a winning standpoint. I'm disappointed in myself that I couldn't get more wins for my team," Horford said. He was the only returning starter for his team.

The polite, well-mannered Horford has made a concerted effort this past year to honing one intangible skill valued by coaches. "Leadership abilities, definitely," he answered. "It is a big deal to me. I have more confidence. I'm very vocal. I tend to yell a lot in practice. It's good sometimes. It's bad sometimes. It just depends on how the guys take it but they took it pretty well."

Future goals on the agenda are to gain weight and strength on his 6-9, 220-pound frame. Expressing a mature attitude he deems himself as an unfinished product. "You're never done improving in basketball until you're done with the game," he said. The 22 points per game scorer presents a challenge for opposing defenses on the perimeter as well as in the paint.

"Percentage wise he's probably is one of our better three-point shooters," Sweet said. "He can go inside and outside. When we need a basket we certainly go to him. He's produced for us very well."

"Anywhere," is the launching pad shot range according to Horford. Seems Ann Arbor will be the exact location many of those three-point attempts will be hoisted from in the coming years.

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