(West Hartford, CT) — Third-year Binghamton head coach Mark Macon’s press conferences are already the stuff of legend: The outspoken coach has been known to offer thoughts, insights, jokes, commentary, and stream-of-conscious detours about any and all topics related to the game played, the sport of basketball, and life in general.
Needless to say, when Macon talks, you fasten your seat-belt and enjoy the ride.
Following the two-win Bearcats all-heart, near-herculean effort in a narrow loss to top-seeded Stony Brook in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament, Macon was effusive in his praise of his team’s effort and guts. He also spent time praising the tremendous talents of freshman forward Ben Dickinson – a potential star in the making — who followed up a 21 point performance in Binghamton’s win over UMBC on the opening night of the America East tournament with 20 points in the near-upset.
But it was the smallest – and perhaps the least known — player on the Bearcats roster who drew the biggest praise, and most airtime, from Macon: walk-on Mike Horn. Macon spent more time talking about the scrappy and diminutive guard than any other topic in the entire press conference.
After praising the Bearcats’ collective group of walk-ons — Javon Ralling, Jabrille Williams, Jimmy Gray (who earned a partial scholarship this year) and Horn — for their impressive contributions during the season.
“They just give you everyting, said Macon. “They fight for this family, and I can’t be more proud of those guys They do yeoman’s work.
Macon singled out Horn specifically for his contributions.
“Let me tell you a story about Mike,” said Macon. “He is THE hardest worker on that floor every night and every practice – he gives you everything he’s got.”
That Mike Horn ever set foot on the floor at the division I level is perhaps equal parts fate and luck; cosmic karma and random chance; persistence and perseverance; and one kid’s immense love for the game of basketball. (more…)