Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's 'Baby' Playing Big; Freshman Can't Get Game with NBA Dad, but Is Showing Plenty for Gators

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF's 'Baby' Playing Big; Freshman Can't Get Game with NBA Dad, but Is Showing Plenty for Gators

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco, The Times-Union

GAINESVILLE -- Florida freshman center Al Horford has laid the challenge at his father's feet countless times.

Play me one-on-one, he tells former NBA player Tito Horford. Let's go. Right now.

His dad's answer is always the same.

Nope.

"I don't know why he won't play me," Al Horford said as the Gators (10-3, 2-0 SEC) prepared for today's game at Vanderbilt (11-5, 2-1). "I would really like to play him."

Is he afraid?

"I don't know," Al Horford said.

Then why won't he play you?

"You'll have to ask him," Al Horford said.

What about it, Pop? Why won't you play your son one on one?

"I'm going to be honest with you," Tito Horford said with a laugh. "He's not ready to play me one-on-one. Maybe in a couple years when I turn 45, 50, he'll be ready. I'm too big. And in shape."

Tito Horford says his son would have no chance of competing with him. He's 7 feet 1 and weighs 260 pounds. Al is 6-8 and weighs 235 pounds.

"He's 18 years old. I'm 260 pounds," Tito Horford said. "I'm too strong for him. He's still a baby."

A baby who has certainly become an important part of the Florida basketball program. Since taking over Adrian Moss' starting job because of Moss' back problems, Al Horford has improved significantly. He's averaging 8.9 points and 6.3 rebounds in his six games as a starter; he was averaging 5 points and 4.3 rebounds in his previous seven games.

He's also recorded 12 of his 20 blocks and 11 of his 13 steals in the last six games.

"Al's made some good strides and some good progress for our team," UF coach Billy Donovan said. "He's surprised me. It goes to show that you never really know what you're getting with the freshman class sometimes, because last year's freshman class, we didn't get a lot of immediate help and productivity. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.