July 21, 2011
GOTTINGEN, Germany - St. John's men's basketball alum Paris Horne became the first member of the Class of 2011 to be inked to a professional contract when he signed with German squad BG Gottingen of the BBL, the team announced today.
Located in Northern Central Germany, BG Gottingen is a member of the German Bundesliga, the premier basketball association in that nation. League play runs from October to June, and coincides with an international competition called the EuroChallenge, which BG Gottingen won in 2010. The EuroChallenge features the top teams from across Europe in a tournament setting, where Horne and his squad may face Besiktas, the Turkish squad of New Jersey Nets star Deron Williams. Former BIG EAST rival Ben Hansbrough, the conference's 2011 Player of the Year from Notre Dame, has also signed with a team in the German Bundesliga.
"We are pleased that Paris has received this well-deserved opportunity to play professional basketball," said St. John's head coach Steve Lavin. "Paris will add true value to his new team as he is one of the hardest workers and best defenders that I've had the opportunity to coach. His best days in basketball are ahead of him."
"I'm very excited to begin my professional career," said Horne. "I would like to thank Coach Lavin and the St. John's coaches for teaching me so much in the past year, as well as the former coaches for giving me the chance to play college basketball at the highest level and in the toughest conference. All of that contributed to my experience at St. John's and helped prepare me for professional basketball. I'd also like to thank all of the fans that stuck with us through thick and thin, and I hope they all continue to follow me throughout my career."
Horne - one of STJ's toughest perimeter defenders over his four-year career - also left his mark in the Red Storm's offensive career record books. With 148 career 3-point field goals made - including the game-winner at Providence (Jan. 1) - Horne finished his tenure tied with Felipe Lopez (1994-98) for second all-time, and was only three treys short of moving into a first-place tie with Willie Shaw (151, 2000-03). His 1,199 career points made him St. John's 46th member of the 1,000-point club, where he finished his career 30th all-time. As a sophomore in 2008-09, he improved his scoring by 9.5 points per game to lead the Red Storm with a 14.6 ppg scoring average, while averaging 16.1 ppg in BIG EAST play and earning first team All-Met honors from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers' Association.
Horne's senior season marked the first year of The Steve Lavin Era, which included a 21-12 overall record in 2010-11 - marking St. John's most wins since the 2002-03 season - with six Top 25 victories and four over Top 10 opponents. Horne's play and Lavin's leadership helped transform a team that finished in 13th place in the BIG EAST Conference last season at 6-12 to a squad that tied for third in 2010-11 at 12-6 - only twice before has a jump of such magnitude occurred in BIG EAST Conference history. The Red Storm finished its season ranked 18th in the Associated Press Top 25, marking the first time it qualified for the postseason as a ranked team since 2000-01. The Red Storm, which posted a 7-1 record in eight games at Madison Square Garden (capacity: 19,353) and a 5-2 record on campus at Carnesecca Arena (capacity: 5,602) saw its home attendance climb by 38.1 percent, marking the fourth-largest increase in NCAA Division I men's basketball.
Fans can visit the new RedStormTix.com to make a deposit or request 2011-12 season ticket information, which will be available this summer. Fans can join the Red White Club by visiting RedStormSports.com and clicking on the link to "Giving" to visit the all-new Red White website.