During an illustrious 16-year playing career in the NBA, Robert Horry competed against many standout athletes and won a remarkable seven championships.
Yet, it took plenty of sacrifices by Horry, who had the ability to make big shots in the postseason since becoming a first-round draft pick of the Houston Rockets in 1992, to pave the way toward stardom.
“It’s about making sacrifices in life,” said Horry, who was the guest speaker at the Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club on Tuesday at Oakmont Country Club. “Whether you are a doctor or lawyer or basketball player or a football player, you have to make sacrifices to get good at your craft.
“Sports is fun and playing sports is fun. Some turn it into a career. If you want to excel in your craft, you can do it.”
Horry won two NBA championships as a forward with the Houston Rockets (1994 and 1995), three with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000, 2001 and 2002) and two with the San Antonio Spurs (2005 and 2007) after starring at the University of Alabama.
Horry, 49, said listened to advice given to him by his youth and college coaches before turning to several NBA players such as Hakeem Olajuwon, Otis Thorpe and Tree Rollins to help him make the transition to the professional stage.
“Those guys took me under the their wings and helped me a lot,” said Horry, who averaged seven points per game and is one of just nine players to win at least seven championships in the NBA. “I learned a lot from them.
“I learned from my coaches that if you can’t do everything on the court, then you are not a basketball player. I started to work on my overall game. I don’t care if you are a big or a small player, you need to always be working on your dribbling, shooting and passing.”
The 6-foot-9 Horry, a Matyland native who was raised in Alabama, has shared his experiences with his son, Camron, who is a sophomore tight end with the University of Texas A&M football program.
“He’s a fantastic kid and he understands about sacrifices that need to be made,” Horry said. “It’s also about preparing for life after football and the connections you make.
“In football, concussions happen. You just keep your fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen.”
Club member Spiro Psaltis said Horry delivered an impressive message to the audience.
“Here’s a guy that’s all about winning, but he talked about how you have to go about things in life,” Psaltis said. “It’s about individual talent, but also about having that mental toughness.”
The Glendale YMCA Quarterback Club, in its 77th season, is conducted during the football season and features area programs Crescenta Valley, Glendale, Hoover and St. Francis highs, as well as Glendale Community College football teams. The club is open to the public.
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