2006 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Frazier, Harden, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Walls
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING "ALL-STAR FIRST TEAM" AND "METRO PLAYER OF THE YEAR" R.L. HORTON, JUNIOR GUARD FOR THE LANIER HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPION BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM.
WHEREAS, Lanier High School Junior Guard R.L. Horton is a prolific scorer adept at shooting jump shots or driving to the goal. He sparked the Bulldogs (34-3) to a second straight Class 4A State Championship and the state's No. 1 ranking for all classifications. He equaled his career high with 50 points, including 23 in the final three minutes of regulation, as Lanier rallied to force overtime and defeat Northeast Lauderdale in the North 4A quarterfinals; and
WHEREAS, Lanier's Coach Thomas Billups said, "We gave it to him every time and he showed everybody what he could do. Just look at what R.L. did this season, how he carried a team without a lot of experience. I kept putting the pressure on him and he kept bringing it every night. I know he's a small guard, but I wouldn't trade him for any player in the state"; and
WHEREAS, according to Lanier Coach Thomas Billups, modesty is typical of Horton, and it's a key part of an approach that helped him earn "Player of the Year" honors on the 27th annual Clarion-Ledger All-Metro Boys Basketball Team for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties; and
WHEREAS, Horton, a 5-foot-11, 165-pound Junior Guard, who's equally lethal shooting three-pointers or driving for layups, averaged 24.6 points as the Bulldogs won their final 19 games (not bad for a player who didn't try out as a seventh-grader at Powell Middle School because he assumed he wouldn't make the cut); and
WHEREAS, after averaging 9.5 points as a Sophomore while eclipsed by the giant shadow of the NBA-bound Mark Ellis, Horton moved to center stage in 2005-2006. Joining Dandy Dozen Senior Point Guard Al Graham in a dynamic backcourt, Horton made a smooth transition as the team's go-to guy, scoring 26 points in the season opener against Terry and finishing with 23 as Lanier beat Indianola Gentry 72-43 in the 4A title game March 9, 2006; and
WHEREAS, Horton, who turned 16 last August, follows Nichols (1994), Tang Hamilton (1997) and Ellis (2002, 2004 and 2005) as Metro Players of the Year from Lanier. Next year he can go one-up on all who've helped deliver 15 Gold Balls to Maple Street since 1950 by completing the first State Championship three-peat in school history; and
WHEREAS, R.L.'s biggest influence is his father, R.L. Horton, Sr.; and
WHEREAS, it is with pride that we recognize this basketball star who has brought honor to his school, community and to the state:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend "All-State First Team" and "Metro Player of the Year" R.L. Horton, Junior Guard for the Lanier High School "Bulldogs" 4A State Champions, and extend to him and his family our best wishes for his future successes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to R.L. Horton and to Coach Thomas Billups, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.