- Horace Jenkins
Jenkins graduated from
New Jersey's Elizabeth High School in 1993, but was ineligible from basketball his senior season due to academics. He played one season at Union County Collegebefore leaving to tend to the birth of his son, Hakeem. [Coffey, Wayne. [http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/2001/04/22/2001-04-22_make_room_for_daddy__horace_.html "MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY Horace Jenkins, 26, goes from William Paterson to possible NBA first-round pick"] , " New York Daily News", April 22, 2001. Accessed March 1, 2008. "It is a prodigious jump, even for someone with a 44-inch vertical leap. It is even more impressive, considering that Jenkins: Never played his senior year at Elizabeth High School"] Over the next three and a half years, Jenkins worked for the Postal Service, as an electrician, and on the back of a garbage truck. Once he saved up some money, he decided he wanted to go back to college and play basketball. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E4DE1731F931A35754C0A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=print PRO BASKETBALL; N.B.A. Dream Is Alive For Jenkins, Almost 28 - New York Times ] ] William Paterson UniversityHead Coach Jose Rebimbas discovered Jenkins while scouting incoming freshman Mufeed Thomas. Rebimbas handed Jenkins a business card, telling him he would be home in 45 minutes and would be expecting his call. The coach's phone was ringing as he got home.Fact|date=June 2008
While at William Paterson (Division III), Horace was a three-time Division III Player of the Year (1999, 2000, and 2001). He also was a three-time Division III All-American, holds numerous school records, and also was named 2001 Basketball Times Division III Player of the Year. Jenkins was also the winner of the 2001 ESPN NCAA dunk contest, beating former division I standout
Jeff Trepagnier. Luckily USC's Trepagnier, one of college's most prolific high flyers, missed his last dunk attempt, and the 6'1" (1.85 m) Jenkins had one up his sleeve, wrapping it up with a foul line two-foot leaner.
He attended all three NBA pre-draft camps, but was undrafted in the 2001
NBA Draft. In the summer of 2001, Jenkins attended Rookie Camp with the Orlando Magic[http://www.d3hoops.com/notable/01/june01.htm] and also received an invitation to Training Camp with Orlando. However, he declined the invite and signed with a team in the Italian League. He received a guaranteed one year contract. [http://www.d3hoops.com/notable/01/julyaugsept01.htm] He spent the 2002 Summer League with the New York Knicksand the 2003 Summer League with the Seattle Supersonics.
Horace Jenkins got his break in the summer of 2004, playing in the Summer League with the
Detroit Pistons. He was playing for AEK Athens BCoverseas, with Pistons draft pick Andreas Glyniadakis. Pistons President Joe Dumarswas watching film of Glyniadakis and spotted Jenkins. Jenkins averaged 20.0 points, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 12 games with AEK Athens BC. Impressed, Dumars invited Jenkins to summer camp in 2004. In summer camp, Horace averaged 8.2 points and 2.8 assists in 5 games. That was enough to garner a guaranteed contract from the Pistons, which he signed on August 4, 2004. His contract was a one-year deal worth $385,277. [http://www.nba.com/pistons/news/transactions_jenkins_040804.html]
Jenkins started the 2004-05 season on the injured list, but did see NBA game action 15 times. He was on the bench for the raising of the Pistons 2004 Championship banner, as well as the infamous
Pacers-Pistons brawl. Rumors circulated that he was being traded to the Chicago Bulls, and also that he was going to leave the Pistons and return to Italy. His NBA debut was a two minute stint against the San Antonio Spurs. He scored 9 points the next night against the New Orleans Hornets. Jenkins scored a career high 10 points on December 10, 2004 against the Atlanta Hawks. He was one of only three Pistons to score in double figures that game. He scored 2 points in his hometown of New Jersey on February 5, 2005. Five nights later, in a rematch of the 2004 NBA Finals, Jenkins scored 8 points in only 6 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers. He would score 6 points in 20 minutes in his final NBA game, against the Charlotte Bobcats. [http://www.nba.com/pistons/stats/2004/index.html]
Although he was left off the playoff roster, the Pistons made the
NBA Finalsfor the second straight year. Jenkins was notable for being the oldest rookie in the NBA, and his life story was the subject of a short presentation narrated by Jamie Foxxon ABC during the 2005 NBA Finals. Jenkins took the long route to the NBA, working to support his family and then playing in Europe before signing his first NBA contract at the age of 29.
In 2005 Jenkins signed a contract with the
Israeli team Hapoel Jerusalem B.C.. In 2006, he signed for Turkish giants Efes Pilsen SK. In the middle of the 2006- 2007season, he returned to Hapoel Jerusalem, and helped the team reach the Israeli league Final Fourin which the team lost to arch rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv. On August 32007 Jenkins signed with Italian team Climamio Bologna on a one-year contract.
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/players/03/01/jenkins0307/index.html Sports Illustrated Article about Horace Jenkins]
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