DENHAM SPRINGS – A pair of Denham Springs girls’ basketball players saw their dreams realized Friday when they turned their commitments into reality, signing with the colleges of their choice during a ceremony at Grady Hornsby.
Post player Desiree Jones and guard Alexius Horne both signed their National- Letters-of-Intent to play for Bossier Parish Community College and Southeastern Louisiana, respectively.
The deciding factor for Horne’s choose Southeastern came when the Lions offered her a scholarship during her recovery from a leg injury.
That display of faith went a long way for Horne, who will spend her college career a hop and a skip down I-12.
“They showed me love,” Horne said. “They offered me when I was still on crutches. They’ve been showing me love for as long as long as I’ve been in high school. I like it there, it feels like home there. I feel loved.”
Horne is in her first wearing purple and gold, transferring to Denham Springs from McKinley over the summer. Not only were her family and new teammates on hand for the celebration, but so were former teammates from McKinley.
“This has been great,” Horne said. “All my family, my teammates, and my former teammates from McKinley came. They really supported me and that means the most to me. I miss them, and I love everyone who came to support me.”
Horne said the transition between schools for her senior year hasn’t been an easy one, but the show of support has helped. Now that the season has started, and Horne has officially closed her recruitment, that transition has become even smoother.
“It was hard, those are my teammates,” Horne said of the McKinley players that were on hand. “I missed them, and I love them. It’s a whole different community (in Denham Springs). But it’s going well. I like it here…I’m very focused (on the season at hand). I want to win state.”
Said Denham Springs coach Blake Zito, “It’s been a short time, but man she’s made a huge impact. She’s a leader not only vocally but how she goes to work every day. How she practices, how she prepares, the extra time she puts in. I think she took up the level of focus of the players.”
Jones, a 5-foot-10 post player, has been a four-year starter for DSHS and an established presence in the team’s locker room. In fact, Jones was instrumental in helping Horne become more comfortable around her new teammates.
“She welcomed her with open arms and was a big part of making sure the transition for her was as smooth,” Zito said. “She’s really been what we want in our program. She is our best facilitator. She is an unselfish player, she looks for anybody around the goal to get the best shot and not just her shot. She’s a relentless player on defense and I think the sky’s the limit for her as she moves on in the next phase of college basketball. I think she has all the tools to be successful.”