Al Horford Became the First Dominican to be NBA Champion

Al Horford
Al Horford (Credit: Getty Images)

Al Horford became the first player born in the Dominican Republic to win an NBA championship in history and for the player trained at the University of Florida with whom he won 2 consecutive NCAA titles, it is quite an important fact. unique and nostalgic. He expressed this during his participation in the post-game press conference for the 5th of the grand final, having defeated the Dallas Mavericks 4-1.

The words of the son of Puerto Plata

“It is something very special for me. I give the glory to God because God has put me in this position, I am very clear about that and this is for my family, that support that has been with me, and also for the Dominican people,” the Quisqueyan center began by saying of the 18-time NBA champions.

“I understand that I have many people there who love me, who follow me, who have always been with me and I feel very glad to represent all Dominicans, not only there, (but) in the world (…) I know that there are many people from different places (…) who are following me, especially the Dominicans here in Boston who have been very attentive. Lawrence, Jamaica Plain, Lynn, all those places, they are loved,” the Dominican concluded by pointing out.

“I am very grateful. I know I have said it before, but praise the Lord for putting me in this position. “It has been many years,” he said after the game. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’m going through emotions right now, but I don’t feel like I’m done. It’s an incredible feeling. Yes, the confetti, everything is happening, but I just have not realized it yet,” he added.

The Horfords are relevant in the history of Dominican basketball

The Horford surname has a lot of value and weight in the history of the Dominican Republic and also in the NBA since it was precisely Al’s father, ‘Tito’ Horford, the first player born on the island of Quisqueya who came to play in the NBA when he made his debut with the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1988 season. Almost 36 years after that, his son Al dressed the country once again in sporting glory by being the first Dominican champion in history.

With this new achievement by Al Horford, he is among the Latin American players who have played in the NBA as first in games played, rebounds, and blocks, as well as second in points, assists, and steals. In addition, we must add his two national championships in NCAA basketball when he defended the colors of the University of Florida, 5 participations in the All-Star Games, an election to the All-NBA team, and a selection to the All-Defense team of the NBA.

Among the best Latinos in the NBA

In addition, Horford is the ninth Latino to achieve this feat, after players of the stature of Butch Lee, Carl Herrera, Manu Ginobili, Fabricio Oberto, Jose Juan Barea, Leandrinho Barbosa, Tiago Splitter, and Juan Anderson Toscano.

His contribution to the NBA Finals went beyond numbers. In the fifth game of the final, he almost recorded a double-double by scoring a total of nine points and the same number of rebounds in just over 30 minutes. In this way, he improved his records and finished the series with offensive averages of 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in 30 minutes of play on the court. A task that was fundamental, since he managed to cope with the defense of the painted zone after the absence of Kristaps Porzingis.

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