Jeff Hornacek

Year Inducted: 1988

Category: Players

Schools / Organizations: (LaGrange) Lyons Township High School
Iowa State University
NBA: Suns, Sixers, Jazz

Biography: The Jeff Hornacek story carries the same theme as Cinderella. Hornacek wasn’t considered much of a prospect when he entered Lyons Township (LaGrange) High School. Yet Hornacek became a consensus all-stater by his senior year. Hornacek was still overlooked by most Division I recruiters upon graduation. According to most scouts, Hornacek was slow and the wrong size. Hornacek sat out a year and then entered Iowa State as a walk-on. He worked out with the team when he entered school in January, and by the end of the year, had convinced the coaching staff he was deserving of a scholarship the following year. After half of the season, an injury to a starter got Hornacek on the floor for the Cyclones. Jeff went on to become an All-Big Eight selection as a junior and led his team to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen as a senior. Hornacek was drafted by Phoenix and wasn’t accorded much of a chance to make the Sun’s roster. He again proved them wrong with a career in the NBA that spanned 14 seasons.  He is most remembered as the third option on the Utah Jazz teams with Karl Malone and John Stockton that reached the NBA Finals in 1997 and 1998 only to be turned away by the Michael Jordan-led Bulls.  After his playing days, Jeff returned to the NBA in 2011 as an assistant coach for the Jazz.  He then served stints as head coach of the Suns and Knicks, as well as a stint with Rockets as an assistant coach.  Jeff’s father John, a renowned high school basketball official, joined Jeff in the Hall of Fame in 1999.