Power Forward, Boston Celtics
4× NBA All-Star, 2010-2011, 2015-2016
All-NBA Third Team, 2011
NBA All-Rookie First Team, 2008
2× NCAA champion, 2006-2007
Second-team All-American – NABC, 2007
Third-team All-American – AP, 2007
SEC Tournament MVP, 2007
By: Frank Morris and Elvis Jocol Lara
Al Horford just made his Boston Celtics debut on Oct. 26, scoring 11 points during the team’s home opener against the Brooklyn Nets. Now he’s scoring a slam dunk in the Boston Latino community by being named one of the area’s Latino 30 Under 30.
“For me, it’s an honor to represent the Latino community in this business of the NBA. There’s not a lot of us [Latinos] that play basketball and to be able to come here to Boston for this historic franchise is a big honor,” Horford said.
The 30-year-old power forward left the Atlanta Hawks after signing a $113 million four-year contract with the Celtics on July 8, making it the largest contract ever awarded to a Latino player. With the recent retirement of Red Sox legend David Ortiz, Horford — who was born in the Dominican Republic — is undoubtedly the most high profile Latino professional athlete in Boston.
“I’m just beginning to imprint in this community. My biggest thing is I just want to make a big impact, a positive impact in the community, represent our people the right way and just let everyone know we are in many different places and we’re doing a lot of good things,” Horford said.
The 2008 NBA Rookie of the Year has gone on to be appear in four NBA All-Star games (the only Dominican all-star in league history), and was named Third-Team All-NBA in 2011.
Before joining the NBA, Horford played college basketball for the University of Florida, and was the starting center on the Florida Gators teams that won back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2006 and 2007. He was the third overall pick in the NBA Draft in 2007 when he was selected by the Hawks.
Scoring over 8,300 points and grabbing nearly 5,200 rebounds in his NBA career to date, Horford is statistically the most successful Dominican player in league history.
“It almost feels like a second home,” Horford said of playing for Boston, which is home to the second largest Dominican population in the country.
Outside the court, Horford has been involved in several outreach programs, including anti-bullying campaigns and reading initiatives. He has participated in Basketball Without Borders, the NBA’s fight against AIDS, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and charities in the Dominican Republic. He has also teamed up with WildAid and NBA Cares in an effort to protect Africa’s elephants and rhinos.
Horford said he is currently, “trying to just be the best person, the best player that I can be everyday,” and has goals of bringing a championship to the city.
As for his advice to aspiring Latino basketball players, “first of all, you have to believe you can do it,” he said. “It’s not that simple, but it’s something that if you put your time to it and you work at it every day, you’ll have an opportunity to be put in a the position to make it one day.”