In Taurean Green and Al Horford, the Gators have two other players whose fathers were professional athletes
LAST SATURDAY, on a rare January weekend when Indiana didn't have a game, Hoosiers assistant coach Sidney Green finished practice and drove straight to the Bloomington airport. His destination: Gainesville, Fla., where he arrived just in time to see his son, Florida point guard Taurean Green, score 21 points in the Gators' 69-57 victory over Auburn. "I may not get to come back this season, so I really wanted to make it," said the elder Green, who was a second-team All-America forward at UNLV in 1982-83 and went on to have a 10-year NBA career.
Taurean Green and Joakim Noah are two of a trio of Gators whose dads played at the highest level of their respective sports. Sophomore Al Horford's father, Tito, was a 1985 McDonald's All-American who played two seasons at Miami and then spent three years in the NBA before bouncing around several European and South American leagues. Says Tito, "I don't want Al to make the same mistakes I did" by not developing his game. "He's told me to treat every day like I haven't achieved anything yet," says the younger Horford, a 6'9", 235-pound power forward who is already considered a potential NBA lottery pick.
All three fathers maintain that they try not to be overbearing, and their sons say they appreciate their advice. "It's good to have their perspective on the game and what it takes to get to the next level," says Taurean.
While busy schedules have kept the trio of former pro-athlete dads from getting together in the same place at the same time, Sidney Green and Tito Horford were able to compare notes when they sat next to each other at a Florida-Villanova game in Nashville last year. "We had a lot of fun talking about how proud we are of our boys," says the elder Horford, who's now a counselor at a children's home in Lansing, Mich., "and how we hope someday they'll get a chance to play in the NBA like we did."