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Dennis Horner's Best Investment

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New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets

Dennis Horner didn't exactly have the best of European experiences last year. He played in Belgium briefly, then for the worst team in Cyprus, the island nation off Turkey.

Rather than head back overseas, he decided to sign up for the D-League National Tryouts. It cost him a $650 entry fee. It turned out to be worth it.

As John Schuhmann writes, Horner first impressed Milton Lee, the Armor GM, who decided to use Springfield's last pick in the third round on the 6'9" stretch forward.

Then, once in Armor camp, the Linwood, NJ, native impressed Bob MacKinnon Jr., the Armor coach, who with Lee recommended him to the Nets as a training camp invite.

There were no expectations, but Horner did everything Avery Johnson and Billy King want from a player trying to break in: he arrived early, stayed late, played hard, and other thing: "He never screws up any plays," Johnson said of Horner. "He's always in the right place at the right time."