Jon Horford commits to Michigan basketball program, and word spreads fast
Besides his mother, Jon Horford told just three people about his verbal commitment to the Michigan basketball program on Friday.
Within an hour, it seemed his entire world knew the plans of the 6-foot-9 forward from Grand Ledge. Among those who found out from someone else was his brother, Al, currently a forward for the Atlanta Hawks.
Jon wanted to call Al later in the day to tell him.
“It’s crazy,” Jon Horford said by phone Friday afternoon. “Twenty minutes after I did it, I told my coach, a teacher at my school and, of course, Coach (John) Beilein, those are the only three people I told. And Al texted me 20 minutes after I did and was like, ‘Is this true?'
“I don’t know how he found out. Maybe my AAU coach called him, but I’m not sure.”
Horford waited for this day for a while. Earlier this year, he listed Michigan among his favorites even though the Wolverines hadn’t offered a scholarship. Two weeks ago, the offer came.
Then he visited campus and on Friday, while in school at Grand Ledge, he called Beilein and made his commitment to Michigan over California and Providence.
Horford, who averaged 21 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks a game this year, had said distance was a factor in his decision, but he wanted to analyze things to make sure Michigan was the right fit.
“There was a little bit of debate, as with anything, especially I just don’t want to jump into something and then regret it later. So I had to make sure of the decision that I’ll be happy with in the future,” Horford said. “I think it’s going to be a good trip.”
It is also one that may see him on the floor for the Wolverines early in his career. With the departure of forwards DeShawn Sims and Zack Gibson to graduation, Michigan is in need of height and an interior post presence.
Those are two things Horford can provide early, especially when it comes to shot blocking.
“His timing is really good, and I always told him you don’t have to jump to block shots, you’re 6-foot-9. Just wait until the guy takes it up,” Grand Ledge coach Tony Sweet said.
“He learned. He was a kid that defensively did a pretty good job and he can be a shot blocker in college, too.”
One thing Horford knows he needs to change is his body. He played at 225 pounds most of his senior season, but his body structure has a lot of room for muscle growth.
“I need to improve on everything, really, but it’s a process,” Horford said. “I can’t get it all done at one time. I just have to start with my weight first, get myself to a good weight and then work from there, get used to my new body and just get better at things I can control, running the floor, playing defense, blocking shots and let the scoring aspects of the game just come to me.”
Horford, whose commitment is non-binding, can sign his official letter of intent on April 14 when the spring signing period commences.