As a kid born and raised in Ames I remember hearing his name - but sadly too young to have memories built in.
Jeff turned me into a Cyclone Fanatic. It wasn't Johnny Orr, and I will give Jeff Grayer some credit on this one also. I think Jeff Grayer was an amazing player, too bad what happened to his knee. I love Johnny Orr, but those first teams of his were really amazing over-achievers. Jeff was a walk-on. I was one of the few people that thought he was completely over-looked in the NBA draft. I watched lots of the NCAA tourney that year, and I didn't see any guards that were any better than Jeff, most were painful to watch compared to him, even the highly rated ones. He had great court vision, and made so few mental mistakes.
You make it sound like "legendary" ISU athletes is a common discussion around here, as if we discuss players like Jamaal Tinsley, Marcus Fizer, Kelvin Cato, and the Davis brothers are discussed here all the time. They're simply not - and they played 15-20 years ago. Hell - even Fred Hoiberg wasn't discussed all that much until he became the coach.
There's plenty of love for Hornacek around here, even if he isn't regularly discussed.
I remember when the NBA draft was going on, and they had an old GM type talking about the players. When it came to Horny, he said something to the effect of Jeff being the closest thing to Bob Cousy he had ever seen. He was great for the Jazz.
We love him. I assure you, we would be posting daily articles about him 25 years ago had this site existed.
Hornecek went 46th overall, 2nd round. I am not sure I would have had him behind any guard in the draft that year. Of course by then I was a Cyclone fanatic.
I loved watching Jeff playing in the NBA. Really durable and consistent. Guys loved playing with him and he improved so much after playing at ISU. MJ thought Hornacek was one of the best players in the NBA. That says allot coming from the best ever.
Jeff Hornacek: "Down Home Guy." | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE UTAH JAZZ
Jeff was not a great scorer for average, but he could score a basket when we neded it and an assist was not available. But despite all the stats, very few cyclone players I have been watching since the early 70's were as fun to watch play a game as Jeff. Just think of Tinsley for four years for all you young guys.