Jim Horne

Jim Horne

University at Buffalo Basketball Player

The current crop of hoopsters chasing glory at UB’s Alumni Arena also chase the legend of Jim Horne, the greatest basketball Bull ever to lace up sneakers.

A native Buffalonian, Horne planted his roundball roots at Emerson High School where, along with close friend and fellow Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Famer inductee Harvey Austin, 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 freshman 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 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 his junior and senior years, and also served as team captain those two seasons.

Horne’s career as a 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 specific 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 of 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.