Many factors led to Horne's commitment

San Diego does not crank out big time college basketball players as frequently as Los Angeles, but there have been some good ones. The Wildcats have gotten their share of talent out of "America's Finest City". Jud Buechler, Luke Walton and Chase Budinger are all San Diegans who Lute Olson has been able to bring to Tucson. With his commitment on Monday Jamelle Horne continues that tradition.

Eight months ago Jamelle Horne was a relative unknown on the recruiting circuit. Today he is a future Arizona Wildcat. When I first saw him at the Pangos All-American Camp last summer I thought he could be special. Here was a 6-7 kid who was fast and athletic, yet had a nice floor sense and was all over the glass.

At the time San Diego State was the biggest suitor, but the Wildcats had gotten involved. That involvement proved to be beneficial. Horne began to blow up and the Wildcats were there the whole time.

The Wildcats' pursuit paid off on Monday as Horne verballed to the Cats when Lute Olson came out to watch him practice.

"Coach Olson missing his practice to watch my practice, that showed me he really wanted me at the University of Arizona," Horne said.

It wasn't just Monday's sacrifice that turned Horne's head, it was a summer of rigorous pursuit. While Olson was front and center for the likes of Budinger and Jerryd Bayless, he was also making himself known to the young Californian.

"He was the first guy in the gym all summer," Horne explained. "It didn't matter if it was 7:30 in the morning or late at night, he was front and center. He and Josh Pastner made it known that they wanted me." Budinger and Bayless' commitments were actually a big part of Horne's decision.

"It will be cool playing with my fellow San Diegan," Horne said. "Plus my boy Jerryd Bayless is committed. I want to play ball with those guys."

Horne is not the only one who likes the idea of Horne joining the ‘Killer B's'. His AAU coach thinks the group could be a lethal combination.

"Him, Jerryd and Chase could be crazy," said Etop Udo-Ema. "That could be one unbelievable backcourt."

Olson and the two future teammates aren't the only reason that Horne chose the Wildcats. Although Arizona gets credit for being ‘Point Guard U' but they actually have as good, if not a better reputation for sending wings to the NBA. That fact was not lost on Horne.

"I want to make money playing basketball someday," Horne said. "I think Arizona gives me a great chance at making it to the next level."

His AAU coach believes that Horne has everything it takes to get to the next level.

"He's athletic as hell," said Udo-Ema. "He's 6-8 and quick. He can get it done on both ends of the court. He has a pretty good basketball IQ.

Udo-Ema is not just excited about Horne the basketball player, he's quite fond of Jamelle Horne the person.

"He's a great kid, an unbelievable kid," Udo-Ema said. "He's got just a great personality."


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