Philadelphia 76ers forward Al Horford seems to be fitting in well with his new teammates. They are currently 11-6 on the young season and in fifth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference (through Tuesday). The 33-year-old Horford — who signed a four-year, $97 million deal with Philadelphia this offseason — is averaging 14.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in a 76ers uniform.
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General managers across the league have come to expect nothing less from Horford. His consistent production throughout his 13-year NBA career made him one of the many prized free agents who signed during the NBA’s free agent frenzy this past offseason.
But while Horford’s presence on the floor usually brings steadiness to any team he’s on, he says he relies on his faith in God to navigate the often turbulent waters of life in the NBA.
“With me, my faith is something that really gives me stability and makes me keep a lot of things in perspective and helps me manage through all the ups and downs that can go within a season,” Horford said recently in a video by NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The video is part of a larger multi-platform campaign in November called “HeadStrong: Mental Health and Sports.” Horford understands the importance of slowing down amidst the fast-paced lifestyle of an NBA player and the necessity of seeing the whole picture, not just the problems directly in front of him.
“I think it’s important to take time to yourself, some quiet time, whether I’m praying, reading and then being able to take some time during the day to just keep things in perspective,” Horford said.
Horford is a native of the Dominican Republic and has represented his country in international competition since 2008. After he signed a contract extension with the Atlanta Hawks in November 2010, Horford was quoted in Spanish by Club Cien Fuegos saying he had been blessed by God with a great family and the opportunity to play basketball at the highest level.
Horford also mentions his faith on his social media accounts, usually in Spanish as well. “The Glory to God,” Horford said in a 2018 tweet after being selected to his fifth NBA All-Star Game.
Humbled, Blessed and Grateful for the All-Star selection. Bendecido y muy agradecido por la selección al juego de estrellas. La Gloria a Dios!
— Al Horford (@Al_Horford) January 24, 2018
“Thanks to God for this Blessing to our family,” Horford said after the birth of his and his wife Amelia’s third child last year. “My wife is my hero!”
Horford was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick in 2007, after three seasons and two national championships in college at Florida. He spent nine years with the Hawks, then three with the Celtics before signing with the 76ers.
Philadelphia’s strong season continues Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET at home against the Sacramento Kings.
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