Ken Horton is a 25 year old 199cm forward from Ossining, New York that is playing his fourth professional season and first in Germany with medi Bayreuth which will be his sixth team. Last season he tore up the league in Finland playing for Joensuun Kataja Basket (Finland-Korisliiga) winning the league title and playing 55 games: 16.2ppg, 8.6rpg, 1.5apg, 1.6spg, FGP: 58.8%, 3PT: 37.1%, FT: 86.8%; EuroChallenge: 6 games: 17.3ppg, 5.3rpg, 2.0apg, 1.5spg, FGP: 76.3%, 3PT: 43.3%, FT: 87.5%. He started his basketball career with Cent.Conn.St. (NCAA) in 2007 and as a senior played 28 games averaging 19.0ppg, 8.9rpg, 1.7apg, 2.1spg, 1.4bpg, FGP: 59.8%, 3PT: 31.3%, FT: 80.2%. He started his professional basketball career in 2012 with SO Maritime Boulogne (France-ProB): 16 games: 12.5ppg, 5.4rpg, 1.3spg, 2FGP: 62.5%, 3FGP: 25.8%, FT: 75.9%, in Mar.’13 moved to Forex Time Apollon (Cyprus-Division A): 2 games: 12.0ppg, 9.5rpg, 1.0apg, 1.5spg. IN the 2013-2014 season he played for teams Huracanes de Tampico (Mexico-LNBP)playing 16 games: and averaging 17.1ppg, 7.6rpg, 2.1apg, 1.4spg, 2FGP: 59.1%, 3FGP: 24.1%, FT: 87.0% and Ballarat Miners (Australia-SEABL) playingb 18 games averaging 19.6ppg, 11.3rpg, 1.7apg, 1.8spg, Blocks-2(9.7bpg), FGP: 47.2%, 3PT: 27.3%, FT: 39.9%. He spoke to German Hoops about basketball.
Ken thanks for talking to German Hoops. You have been in Germany now two months after having played in countries like France, Cyprus, Mexico, Australia and Finland. How have you liked living and playing basketball in Germany?
I’m liking Germany a lot. Its getting a bit cold but after being in Finland last season I’m no stranger to the cold. Basketball wise its good and its coming along slowly but surely.
After having a long pre season the season started and medi Bayreuth is surprisingly 0-3. With the talent that the team has and good coach Michael Koch, would you ever have thought before the season started that the team could start like this?
It was a long preseason but, I don’t think anybody on any team would think about starting the season off 0-3. The goal is to win every game you play, unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that. As you said earlier we have a lot of talent and a great Coach who believes in every one of us, so we will work hard to get back on the right track.
The first game was a loss to Alba Berlin which isn´t surprising, but the early season low point came after the bitter 98-58 loss at home against Braunschweig. This was just a very bad team loss. Did you ever suffer a low point like that in your professional career?
As a professional I’ve been on the losing end of a score like that. I just feel that as a professional things like that come with the territory. On any given night if you are not on your “A” game a team can beat you by 40.
After a few days of gathering one´s self, the team came back with a spirited effort in Oldenburg, but still losing 87-82. On what things has the team improved on since that brutal 40 point loss at home?
That’s just the nature of the game. It happens on every level of sports. We needed to just play with passion and with heart. In the 40 point loss we didn’t come out with that fire and enthusiasm that we normally do. We as a team had to get back to it. Sometimes something like energy, fire, and the will to compete can put you in the right positions to win games that the first thing we had to get back to.
Stats don´t lie as the team is averaging 72 points, but giving up 94 points. The team is so athletic and defense should be a strength. Why isn´t the team defending the way they should?
Skill isn’t always the thing that can get it done in basketball. We need to play like we know how. On the defensive end our mindset has changed and its unfortunate that it took a 40 point loss for that to happen but, but it did and now its time to focus on the upcoming games and make sure we do everything that we didn’t in that game.
Sometimes team chemistry can be a problem when a team isn´t winning. How is the state of the team mentally? Is a positive that the season is still young and much time to correct problems?
Team chemistry has never been a problem for us. We are in a good space and are ready to play ball. Its very early in the season so correcting mistakes now will only benefit us as a team in the long run.
Medi Bayreuth next play 0-3 MBC at home. This is a must win. How confident are you that the boys will come together and give the fans the first win of the season at home?
We are ready to play. That’s all I can say.
How comfortable do you feel with the style of the BBL after three games? You are averaging 8,7ppg and 4,0rpg shooting 77% from the two point range, but only 27% from outside. Is your outside shooting and taking care of the ball(1.7to) your main building blocks that your working on on your game?
My shooting from outside is definitely not where it should be but I’ve been in the gym getting it right so that will come. As for the turnovers and rebounds that is something that I take real pride in and will do my best to make sure that I get that right so it benefits our team.
How appreciative have you been of having a teammate like Jeff Xavier on the team? Despite the 0-3 start how important has his leadership been?
Having guys that have been in Europe for a long time like Jeff is always a good thing because they know things that some of the younger guys don’t. We have a team full of vocal people so in their own way everybody shows leadership. All the way from our point guards running the team on the floor to Kendall hounding the team about rebounding and staying hungry. We all lead in some way or another that’s why I know this team is special.
Derrick Rose is injured again. Is there a curse on him? Do you ever see him playing a full professional season?
D.Rose has just had a stretch of bad luck. I don’t really believe in curses and all that stuff. Sometimes injuries are things people cant shake. I will say that I hope he stays healthy and keeps the league exciting.
What was the last movie that you saw?
Actually the last Movie I saw was “San Andreas” this past summer with my Fiancee Jessenia. Thank you for interviewing me.
No problem thanks for the chat Ken.