Dennis Horner's hoop dream came true with the New Jersey Nets last season and now the 6'9 forward has a chance to show he belongs in a new league -- Germany's BEKO BBL. It all comes down to showing he is healthy over the course of the next two weeks with the Artland Dragons.
Luckily Dennis Horner knows his way around Europe and the international game.
Horner also knows a thing or two about having to prove himself. Different league, same old story you could say.
On Tuesday, the Artland Dragons in Germany's BEKO BBL announced they have signed the former New Jersey Nets and D-League's Springfield Armor forward to a two week tryout period.
The concern and what is keeping Horner from a one-year deal at this point: Horner suffered a stress fracture in his foot this summer. Once head coach Stefan Koch and the organization can fully evaluate Horner's condition, they will decide at that point to extend his contract for the remainder of the season in Quakenbrück, Germany.
Horner knows the drill. Been there. Lived that.
He's well versed in the waiting game since going undrafted out of North Carolina State. After signing and not appearing in a game in Belgium in 2010-11 with Pepinster, the 6'9 forward played for Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus during his rookie season before signing on in the D-League with the Armor in 2011 thanks to a memorable tryout. What followed over the course of the next two season was a whirlwind ride that took him from the D-League to the NBA with the Nets and back again. Last season in New Jersey, Horner appeared in 8 games where he played spot minutes (2.8 mpg), but walked away with an experience that will certainly benefit him as Horner ventures back overseas.
John Schuhmann of NBA.com described how Horner's NBA hoop dreams really began by traveling to a D-League tryout on his own dime.
"I was just trying to impress the people that were there," he said, "taking baby steps."
The baby steps in the D-League were beneficial. Growth followed. Horner finished the season averaging 17 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in 25 games with 20 starts.
Artland is poised to make major noise in the BBL this season and the Eurocup as well. They revamped their roster this offseason by adding Marquez Haynes, Demond Mallet and Bryce Taylor and the team could really benefit from Horner's presence. It just depends if Horner can show if he is healthy or not over the course of these next 14 days.
Luckily Dennis Horner has shown people in this game before that he belongs.