It was with great honor that the Willie Hutch Jones Educational and Sports Program selected Jim Horne to be its recipient of the Black Achiever in Industry Award for 2014.
A native Buffalonian, Horne planted his round-ball roots at Emerson High School where he starred in basketball and track and field. As a senior in 1950-51, Horne paced Emerson to a Yale Cup Championship and attracted considerable attention from college scouts. Representatives from Union College (Albany), Syracuse and Niagara came courting, but family considerations led Horne to accept a full athletic scholarship to the University of Buffalo.
Jim made an immediate impact, establishing a freshmen scoring record of 374 points and contributing significantly to a then-school record 18-win season. Horne’s sophomore season was even more auspicious, as he not only led the Bulls in scoring, but received his first of three selections to the All District team and first of two selections to the All Auditorium team. In addition Horne was recognized by his own school and with the annual Dominic Grossi Award bestowed upon the athlete who has made the greatest contribution to the UB athletic program and with the inaugural Dr. James J. Ailinger Award as outstanding player of the year. Jim retained both of these distinctive awards in the junior and senior years and also served as team captain those two seasons.
Horne’s career as four-year starter featured eleven school scoring records, including most points in a game (41) and career (1,833). The UB Athletic Hall of Fame opened its doors for Jim in 1966, and in 1996, the University retired his jersey, number 13. While Horne inherited that number reluctantly as a youngster, he wore it proudly throughout a career which appeared ironically blessed by the “unlucky” digits.
Aside from the records, Jim still cherishes specifics memories from his cage career, such as the night during his sophomore season that he led the underdog Bulls to a victory at Aud over Taps Gallagher’s nationally-ranked Niagara squad. However, Horne is most proud of the fact that his basketball notoriety has caused other aspiring young players to reach for the stars and for the kind for worthwhile life which can flow from athletic opportunity. Today, Horne gives freely to the youth of Buffalo as an assistant coach at Buffalo Traditional High School and through his involvement in the sporting and academic endeavors of the Willie Hutch Youth Foundation.
In the same spirit with which Jim Horne has continued to give back to the community which has enriched his life, we honor those contributions with his selection to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Having one of the UB’s three retired Jerseys, Jim had a four-year average of 24.0 points per game. To his credits, Jim is a former Harlem Globetrotter.
For the past 20 years Jim has been a golf instructor. Jim has introduced the game of golf to numerous students, helped them to obtain college scholarships and go on to compete in numerous tournaments. Canisius College recently awarded Jim a Certificate of Appreciation for Outstanding Service, for golf lessons rendered to the students of the Academic Talent Search program
The WHJESP would like to thank Jim Horne for all his contributions to our program and to our community.