Braves

Top Five Current Atlanta Professional Athletes: Number 4

Number 4: Al Horford

 

There are few players in professional sports as loyal to their city as Al Horford. The 6’10” center has been everything the Hawks envisioned when they drafted him in 2007. Averaging 14.2 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game throughout his career, Horford seems to progress every season. Injuries sidelined Horford for the majority of the 2011 and 2013 seasons, but Horford has been durable for the majority of his career.

He was the third pick overall in the 2007 NBA Draft behind Greg Oden (BUST) and Kevin Durant. While Horford’s game might not be as polished as Durant’s, he has been effective in different ways. He has been the cornerstone that Hawks basketball had been missing for years. He has been here during the rough times, but is one of the main reasons this franchise has turned around. Last season, Horford appeared in 76 games and started them all. His field goal percentage has been above 50% every season besides his rookie year (49.9%).

During the 2015 playoffs, in one of the most anticipated games in Hawks franchise history, Atlanta trailed the Washington Wizards 81-80 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with few seconds remaining. Dennis Schröder threw up a wild layup, but Horford saved the game and the season. He mauled his way through Hawks and Wizards players to put up a game winning putback to take the series lead 3-2. That moment defined Horford’s career, as he seems to never succumb to pressure.

He might not be the “superstar” that NBA fans love to see, but he is a superstar to Hawks fans. Not only is Horford incredible on the court, but the Hawks organization and fans never have to worry about any off the court issues with him. Al Horford’s do not grow on trees, and I believe Horford will only progress throughout the upcoming years. He is number four on the list, but he can easily crack the top three when it’s all said and done.

 

To see who number five was, copy this link: http://www.sportstalkatl.com/top-five-current-atlanta-pro-athletes-number-5/

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