Ken Horton is a 30 year old 201cm forward from Ossining, New York that is playing his ninth professional season and second with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos. The American began his basketball career at Ossining High School and then played at Central Connecticut State University (NCAA) from 2007-2013. He has seen a lot of the world as a professional having played in countries like France, Mexico, Australia, Finland, Germany, Kazakhstan, Italy and now currently in Spain. Last season he split time with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A:games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. He finished the season with San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos (Spain ACB) playing 3 BCL games averaging 9.7ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.0spg. It has been more than 4 years since he last played for German teams Telekom baskets Bonn and medi Bayreuth. The ex EasyCredit BBL player won the 2020 BCL title recently and it was time to catch up with him again about his basketball career.
Ken thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. This is our 11th interview and first in more than 4 years. Has time just flown by or has it really sped by in the last years?
Thank you for the opportunity again. Yes 4years has definitely sped by. A lot has happened in that time span.
Congrats on winning the 2020 Basketball Champions League title. It was your third title in your professional career. How good does it feel winning another title?
Thanks you. Yes I’ve won 3 championships but this BCL championship is definitely at the top of the list. I’m just honored to be a part of this championship team.
It has been a very crazy year for everyone. But how crazy is winning a title with only 2 games? You played in Italy last season and moved to Burgos for the 20-21 season, but had the luxuary to win a title for your new team that will be in the history books as a 19-20 title.
Its kind of weird when you think about it. But I guess due to everything that happening around the world right now nothing should seem weird anymore. It was very different but I think that every team that was there was in the same boat as far as not having preparation time and things of that nature. Coming to a new team and winning a title at the beginning of the season is a feeling that I can’t describe.
San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos had many guys from last season, but also new players like Alex Renfroe, Omar Cook and yourself. Is this good early team chemistry a good omen for what could happen this season for the organization on the floor?
The chemistry has grown very fast and it seems to be getting better and better by the day. This is definitely a good omen on what could happen this season. We won the 2020 BCL championship but now that that’s over we have to look forward and concentrate on what’s next. I don’t think anyone on the team is satisfied. We want more so we’re going to go after it.
Talk a little about the satisfying 85-74 victory over powerhouse AEK Athens. They have a Euroleague type roster. Do you feel like there was a bit of over confidence in their heads as they got on the floor?
They definitely have a great roster full of elite players. I’m not going to say that they were over confident. I will say that we played extremely hard every game out there no matter the opponent. So if they were over confident and thinking that it was going be easy then that was their mistake. So I hope that wasn’t the case.
What was key for the title? You guys did a great job on the boards, but had problems taking care of the ball suffering 16 turnovers.
Yes turnovers were a problem but I think that our defense is what really did it for us. everyone taking pride and putting out maximum effort on defense put us over the hump.
Even if the 2020 Basketball Champions League title only took a few games how special will this title be for you? You beat a handful of ex big time Euroleague players like Langford, Slaughter, Rice, Zisis and Lojeski?
It’s very special for me and it’s very gratifying knowing that how much I work individually and how much we work together as a team paid off with the ultimate goal.
Two ex BBL players Kenneth Horton and Thaddeus Mcfadden have done very well since leaving the BBL years ago. Is Mcfadden on a good way of becoming this season’s Burgos leader after scoring 18 points in the final?
Thad definitely played great in Athens and I know he will continue to do that in the ACB this year and also in the 2021 BCL season. The great thing about this roster is that we have a lot of experience and veteran players so with that you have everyone is a certain way being a leader on this team.
How much of a pleasure is it playing with mega veteran Omar Cook who is 38 years old and just doesn’t go away. How valuable was he in the final and how will his game still be very useful for the club at his age?
Omar was very important for us winning the championship. We always say that the most in shape and most fit guy on the team is the oldest guy on the team. His leadership and knowledge of the game will be very useful for us as we continue the season. Even though we have a lot of veteran players we still all look to Omar because he has the most experience here. So he’s like the teams big brother
Does his unending work ethic and focus possibly help lead you to playing possibly a lot longer than what you may have thought before you saw him work?
Absolutely. Every year I meet a player who’s older and still getting it done. Last year was David Moss and now this year is Omar. So I think they definitely put at least another 5 it years on my career if not more.
How confident are you that San Pablo Inmobiliaria Miraflores Burgos won’t be satidfyed after this title and still be hungry for the next titles this season?
I’m very confident. Being satisfied and content where we are right now is disrespectful to the craft and the people that still play this game and are eager to win. I know for me personally I won’t let any of the guys be content. Were going to still play as if we haven’t won anything and be hungrier than before.
You had many new teams since Germany and continue to be consistent. How do you feel has your game developed further since Germany?
My game has developed by just not necessarily changing things with my game but my mindset. Basketball is more mental than physical. So I try to have a certain mindset every game, every practice, every time I step on the court. That has definitely helped me stay consistent and be able to up the level of play year after year.
The most incredible stat of yours is that you have NEVER ever since high school not averaged double figures in scoring anywhere. That is mind boggling. There are always obstacles in a season, but you have always been consistent. Can I finally award you the Mr consistent award of professional basketball?
That’s crazy I didn’t even know that. Being consistent is very key to staying over here at a high level. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to sustain it for this long. ‘Mr Consistent’ has a nice ring to it
Last season you played with Germani Brescia Leonessa (Italy-Serie A) playing 12 Eurocup games averaging 11.1ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 1.7spg, FGP: 57.7%, 3PT: 30.2%, FT: 88.9%; and played 14 Italian Serie A: games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.5rpg, 1.8apg, FGP: 56.5%, 3PT: 34.8%, FT: 81.8%. What do you remember being special about playing in Italy and was this the best league that you played in Europe or was it the VTB league??
Italy was special all the way around. Italy was one of the countries I’ve always wanted to play in. So having that and then also being a part of Eurocup made it even better. I think Both the LBA and VTB were both different in their own way but both are very competitive leagues.
In 2018-2019 you played with BK Astana (Kazakhstan-National League playing 14 games averaging 15.4ppg, 7.2rpg, 3.1apg, 2.0spg, 2FGP: 81.2%, 3PT: 31.6%, FT: 85.7%; and played 29 VTB United League games averaging 12.8ppg, Reb-4 (7.4rpg), 1.4apg, Steals-3 (1.6spg), FGP: 60.3%, 3PT: 35.1%, FT: 87.7%. You had many great games in the VTB, but also tough loses against top Euroleague team CSKA. What memories do you have playing this great organization?
I think it was great. It’s always good to play against teams that are in the top competition .CSKA every year is looked at as being one of the best if not the best team in Europe
In 2017-2018, you played with Elan Bearnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez (France-ProA) playing 35 games averaging 11.9ppg, 5.3rpg, 1.3apg, FGP: 58.1%, 3PT: 34.6%, FT: 76.7%. What do you remember as being really special about this season? You bowed out against Monaco in the playoffs-
Hands Down The most special thing about that season was my daughter being born.
It has been 4 years since you played in Germany with Bayreuth and Bonn. Does this time seem like a blur for you since you have got to learn so many new places and organizations?
Yes it does fortunately I’ve made some life long friends from those places and we can reminisce every now and then.
You played for some great teams and had great teammates. When someone says Germany what always comes to mind first?
The thing that comes to mind is the friends turned family. Like I said before we still remain in contact and have made life long friendships.
2020 was a tough year for all, but how did you get through the COVID-19 time in the States. How do you feel did you grow as a man during these hard times?
2020 has been a hectic year all over the world. For me personally I was just trying to stay as safe as possible when out and about. And just keeping my wife and daughter as safe as possible. This time really made me cherish the moments that I get with my family. A lot of people aren’t as fortunate to be around their family every single day. So I can’t take it for granted.
Please name you’re your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or current players?
MJ, Lebron, Kareem, Bill Russell
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Michael Jordan or Lebron James?
Two Very different Players. Both have a huge impact on their generations. But overall I have to give it to MJ
What was the last movie that you saw?
Thanks Ken for the chat.