Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
You could form a pretty solid mid-90s NBA All-Star team with the names Hardaway, Dumars, Rice and Horford.
It might seem like a scene out of “Hot Tub Time Machine” when players with all of those names take the court this week at the Legends Classic at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, but it’s really happening.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (pictured), Jordan Dumars (Joe’s son) and Jon Horford (Tito’s son) are on the Michigan roster while Glen Rice Jr. suits up for Georgia Tech.
On Friday, Michigan faces No. 9 Syracuse and Tech meets UTEP, with the winners to face off Saturday.
Michigan coach John Beilein, who recently notched his 600th career victory, recruited the three NBA sons and said it was a unique experience. No home visits were involved, for one thing.
“It was more of campus visits, but they were very involved,” Beilein said Monday on a conference call.
“From the three fathers’ standpoint, they’ve really raised great young men. There was a trust [because] the dads knew the business. And the mothers as well.”
Beilein said none of the fathers asked for any preferential treatment and instead wanted their kids worked hard.
“Every one of those parents got to where he got to be because of hard work,” he said. “And that’s all they’ve encouraged me, just work my son hard. Make him earn everything. And it’s really been easy, it’s been seamless thus far.”
Hardaway Jr., a 6-5 freshman small forward, is having the biggest impact among the Michigan players, averaging 14.3 points for the Wolverines (3-0).
“In some situations you’d like him to be coming off the bench as an 18-year-old freshman, but with Manny Harris going pro last year early, Tim has earned the right to start at small forward,” Beilein said. “He has a lot to learn, but he’s very receptive to being coached.”
Horford, a 6-9 freshman forward, is also the younger brother of Atlanta Hawks forward Al Horford.
“Jon Horford is really a young body, another 18-year-old who is just learning how to play,” Beilein said. “He’s a big man at 6-9. Still has some weight to gain but has shooting ability and a real desire to get better.”
Dumars, a 6-5 sophomore guard who transferred from South Florida, has been limited by injuries and hasn’t played this season.
“He’s just probably in shape now,” Beilein said. “He’s not going to be ready to play for two or three weeks and will have to earn his playing time. Because of his injuries, it’s been a rough battle back. But he’s shown a great promise in the time he’s been healthy.”
At Georgia Tech (3-1), Rice Jr. is a 6-5 sophomore guard averaging 9.0 points and 2.5 rebounds. He is the fourth-leading scorer behind Iman Shumpert, New Jersey native Brian Oliver and Mfon Udofia.
“He really is a very smart playerand I imagine being around the game as much he’s been around the game his whole life has helped him,” Tech coach Paul Hewitt said of Rice Jr.
“He’s clearly one of our smartest players. He’s a gifted athlete…But he’s got to still take another step. He’s got to go from a guy that is maybe the fourth or fifth guy on the scouting to report to now being on the top of the scouting report along with Iman.”
Whether or not there are future NBA All-Stars here remains to be seen, but they all carry a legacy.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.