Alfred Joel “Al” Horford Reynoso (born June 3, 1986) is a Dominican professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the University of Florida, and was the starting center on the Florida Gators teams that won back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2006 and 2007.
On June 28, 2007, Horford was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. On July 9, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Hawks. As a rookie in 2007–08, Horford was the only player unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team; he was also runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors and was named Rookie of the Month on four separate occasions. He became the first Atlanta draftee to earn first team honors since Stacey Augmon in 1991–92. Horford averaged 10.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.9 blocks, 0.7 steals and 31.4 minutes in 81 games (77 starts). The Hawks finished the regular season with a 37–45 record and entered the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. In their first round match-up with the Boston Celtics, Horford helped the Hawks take the eventual champions to seven games, losing the series 4–3. In the series, Horford averaged 12.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.
On January 13, 2015, he recorded his first career triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 105–87 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Six days later, he was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, January 12 through Sunday, January 18. On January 29, he earned his third All-Star nod as a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. In a brilliant stretch of play from December 7 to January 31, Horford scored in double digits in 28 consecutive games. Between December and January, the Hawks went 28–2 and had a franchise-best 19 game winning streak. Behind Horford and fellow All-Star teammates Paul Millsap, DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague, the Hawks finished the regular season with the best record in the East at 60–22, and advanced through to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. There they were defeated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games.
In 2015–16, Horford played in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career. On November 11, 2015, he scored 26 points and made a career-high four three-pointers in a 106–98 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. On December 4, he scored 16 points against the Los Angeles Lakers to extend his streak of double-digit games to 22, setting a career high. His streak came to an end at 23 after scoring nine points against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Hawks’ 24th game of the season on December 10. On February 12, 2016, Horford was named to replace the injured Chris Bosh on the 2016 Eastern Conference All-Star team, thus marking his fourth All-Star selection. On February 28, he recorded his 200th career double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds in an 87–76 win over the Charlotte Hornets. With a 48–34 record, the Hawks entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the East. They advanced through to the second round where they were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second straight year.
On July 1, 2016, Horford became an unrestricted free agent. The Hawks were optimistic they could reach a new deal with Horford, but after the team committed much of their salary cap to pick up Dwight Howard, it would have taken a max offer to land Horford. Horford signed with the Boston Celtics on July 8, and said he was looking forward to working with Celtics’ head coach Brad Stevens and the rest of the team towards bringing the championship back to Boston.
Career highlights and awards
4× NBA All-Star (2010, 2011, 2015, 2016)
All-NBA Third Team (2011)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2008)
NBA Shooting Stars champion (2011)
2× NCAA champion (2006, 2007)
Second-team All-American – NABC (2007)
Third-team All-American – AP (2007)
SEC Tournament MVP (2007)
Representing the Dominican Republic Men’s Basketball
FIBA Americas Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2011 Argentina Team
Gold medal – first place 2012 Puerto Rico Team
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Mexico Team