Chris Horton may be headed home sooner than he expected.
Horton played at APSU from 2012-16. He was responsible for the Governors’ magical 2016 OVC championship and eventual NCAA tournament berth.
Horton was honored by the Tennessee Sports Writer’s Association as the state’s Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year in his final season and has since bounced around in professional leagues following his graduation.
After a cup of coffee in the National Basketball Association’s Summer and Developmental Leagues, the center has traveled overseas for professional employment.
Following stints in Hungary and Greece, Horton has seemingly found a home in France’s Ligue Nationale de Basket. The former Gov was named an LNB Pro-A all star with averages of 17.2 points, nine rebounds and 1.8 assists for Cholet Basket.
Horton’s season has since been cut short for the time being, with the LNB indefinitely suspending the league without notice of further cancellation or eventual resumption.
Horton cited the situation as frustrating, considering his successes in the league thus far: the big man ranks fourth in points per game, first in rebounds per game and first in minutes played in the Jeep Elite standings.
“Yeah, I think everybody feels [frustrated], especially as a team: we come in, have a good year so far, and for all of that to just be stopped and shut down by this virus.
“That’s definitely unpleasant for all of us, unfortunate definitely. Hopefully people still remember what we did before this happened but to not be able to finish it: it’s a little disappointing, but I understand,” Horton said.
Cholet had ranked sixth in the Pro-A standings out of 18 different teams. As it stands, Cholet’s record is 14-11. The team’s 14 wins ties the most the club has seen since the 2017-18 season with the potential of nine games to be played.
Horton is stuck in Cholet until final word of the league’s state is announced. Players who are foreign to France have the opportunity to leave and return to their homeland, but are hesitant to do so in the event of a gradual resumption. He stressed that the situation is nerve racking in what the future may hold.
“We don’t want to be stuck out here when the U.S. goes on lock down and can’t get back,” Horton expressed. “But then also, we don’t want to leave and be in the states when they go on lock down and our French league calls us back to play again and lose out on the rest of our contracts.”
While no one in the LNB is officially diagnosed with COVID-19 to Horton’s understanding, as many as five deaths have been caused by the virus in the city of which the players reside.
Former San Antonio Spurs guard and team president of fellow Pro-A team ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne has expressed his belief that the league should be canceled because of the pandemic. “The smartest solution is to cancel the season without a champion nor teams relegated, so we can prepare as soon as possible for the next season,” Parker said to L’Equipe, a French media outlet. “Everyone will suffer big losses.”
No matter the situation or state, Horton’s goal is to continue the goal of playing professional basketball, claiming such to be his motivation in continuing a career overseas.
“The fact that I just don’t want to stop playing basketball,” Horton said. “I want to see what else is out there, I have the end dream to make it in the NBA, to get the opportunity to get that shot.
“That’s definitely still keeping me going. Just to keep playing basketball while I’m able to, because eventually I won’t be able to play anymore. I just want to take advantage of the opportunity that I have now to keep on playing, explore different parts of the world, different cultures and everything and hopefully one day it will lead me back home.”