Horry Visits Tomorrow

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 29, 2002

The committee involved with planning a tribute for Andalusia native Robert Horry held its final planning session last Friday afternoon.

Horry, a former basketball standout at Andalusia High School and the University of Alabama, and who has captured five National Basketball Association world championship rings with the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, will be honored on Wednesday in a ceremony at Andalusia Elementary School.

The tribute from the City of Andalusia is scheduled to begin with an Horry autograph session at 4:30 p.m. and will continue with a more formal presentation at 5:30 p.m.

Members of the committee include Committee Chairman Sammy Glover, Mayor Earl Johnson, Greg White, George Payne, Ethel Robertson, longtime Andalusia High School Basketball Coach Richard Robertson, Bridges Anderson, Michael Jones and Daniel Shakespeare.

The formal ceremony is scheduled to include remarks from former University of Alabama Basketball Coach Wimp Sanderson, Robertson and Horry himself.

Glover said he is pleased with being a part of the special honor for arguably Andalusia's best-known product.

"I am pleased with (how the plans for the tribute have progressed)," said Glover. "I think it is well-deserving, and I want say it is overdue, because anytime you do something, it is the appropriate time. (Horry) has represented Andalusia and Covington County very well. I am very excited about it and I feel that he is going to be real excited about it. We are just encouraging our community to come out and express our appreciation to Robert for the way he has conducted himself both on and off the floor."

"(The committee) has spent a lot of time trying to make this a memorable and pleasant affair for (Horry) and we just hope he enjoys it," added Glover. "I think all the hard work we've put into this is going to be well-spent. I don't think what we are doing here is too much for Robert. He doesn't need any financial support, but what we are trying to do here is just how our appreciation and admiration.

"He has meant a lot to this city and a lot to education and he's meant a lot to the (AHS) basketball program and Coach Robertson. He has represented the city and University of Alabama well. In today's times, I think that for a city to have a Robert Horry to honor is exciting."

He said the honor will not only bring positive exposure to the Laker forward, but to the City of Andalusia as well.

"I think (Horry's success) is a result of the type school system that we operate here (in Andalusia) and I think the way (Horry) conducts himself is a product of the way he was coached by his high school coaches and the raising of him by his parents," said Glover. "(Horry's parents) did a wonderful job of keeping his head on his shoulders and keeping everything in the right perspective. I think anybody that knows Robert can see that in him. I think it speaks well for the City of Andalusia, to have someone come from among us to reach the status that Robert has reached, and still keep everything in the proper perspective."

Robertson, who coached Horry during his critical stages of development at AHS, said he is also proud to have the opportunity to honor his most storied former Bulldog.

"When (Horry) first got to (AHS), we felt like he was going to be an outstanding player, and we don't start our players out with an aspiration of being a famous college or pro player, but we just want them to be the person they can be at that particular time," said Robertson. "When he got to be a junior, we began to see some things begin to happen (with Horry's potential) that we had not planned for. He had not reached his peak when he left (AHS) and he just got better and better."

I tell our players that we teach them what we taught (Horry), and not that they are (necessarily) going to be pro athletes because we are not in the business to get scholarships (for players)," said Robertson, who has coached hoops at AHS for 32 years. "We hope to make you the best person you can be and anything else that comes is a bonus. Our school is 102-years-old and he is our first pro athlete and we are proud of that."