high school basketball career has been a four-stop, whirlwind tour of some of the finest basketball programs in the Tri-State area.
But like the saying goes: There's no place like home.
Although Horne has always lived within the school district boundaries of his current school, Newark (Del.)
, he didn't enroll there until this past fall. Until then, his three-year high school career spanned three schools in three different states.
He commuted by bus, car and train. He drove on back roads, toll roads, and even over bridges.
Horne played his freshman season at Philadelphia powerhouse Roman Catholic High. But the daily commute by train became expensive and laborious so he transferred back to Delaware. However, instead of attending Newark he chose to spend his sophomore year playing at nearby Hodgson Vo-Tech. He led the Silver Eagles to a 17-2 record and was named the State Player of the Year.
"I regret not playing here at Newark my sophomore year," Horne said. "They made the Elite Eight that year and I could have helped them go farther."
Horne left Hodgson after just one season and crossed the Delaware River to attend Life Center Academy (Burlington, N.J.) to "get my grades up higher," he said.
Once he did, it was time to come home.
"I thought it would be good for me to come back to my home state and play my senior year with my friends," Horne said. "I felt Newark was a good spot for me education-wise and it's right down the street from my house."
Newark was a solid team before the 6-foot-4 senior laced up his shoes for the Yellowjackets. But his presence has made a very good team even better.
"He brings us a toughness and major star status," said fourth-year coach Shannon McCants, who was the point guard on the last Newark team to win a state basketball title in 1990. "He's given us a chance to get to another level."
Horne's current teammates have been working hard for the past three years without him to get to that next level. However, there's no resentment that the new "star" arrived and just jumped on the bandwagon for his senior year.
"His addition has been great," senior guard Taylor Reynolds
said. "He's provided energy and experience to our starting lineup, which makes us more diverse."
That diversity has helped Newark play deep into the postseason. Thursday night the Yellowjackets play in the semifinals of the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association Boys Basketball State Tournament. The game will be played at the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware campus, which is located less than a mile from Newark High. Because of the proximity, the arena should be packed with Newark fans. MaxPreps Delaware Boys Basketball Playoff Brackets
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Horne said with a smile. "I'm just taking it one game at a time. I'm just focusing on the next game."
That next game, ironically, is against Hodgson Vo-Tech. And so Horne will now play against the players he called teammates just two years — and two teams — ago.
"I talk to [the Hodgson players] sometimes," Horne admitted with a grin. "When we're on the court together it's going to kind of feel like when I used to practice with them. It will be just a little more intense and competitive."
Horne is an extremely competitive player on both ends of the court, which compliments his natural talent perfectly.
"He has a lightning-quick first step," McCants said. "He also can post up and if he gets the ball in the lane, he usually scores or gets fouled. And he can rebound from the guard position."
Like any great player, Horne is never satisfied with his game.
"I need to work on my mid-range jumper," he admitted.
McCants said Horne could score more than 30 points a game if he was a selfish player. But he's not. He finished the regular season averaging 22 points and eight rebounds per game. In Sunday's quarterfinal win his team was struggling late in the game, but Horne never felt like he had to take over.
"I didn't shoot much in the second half so that I could get my teammates involved," recalled Horne, who finished with 16 points. "I had confidence in them that we would get the win."
Horne has received scholarship offers from Iona, Quinnipiac, High Point and Drexel.
"I plan to decide where I'll go after the season," Horne said. "But it will be one of those four schools."
But before he commits to where he'll play next year, there are still two games left to win this year.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "It's good to be home."Jon Buzby is the sports columnist for the Newark Post, a freelance writer, and on the broadcast team for the 1290AM The Ticket High School Football and Basketball Games of the Week. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.