Horace Grant was born on July 4th 1965 in Augusta, Georgia to Grady Mae Grant, a housekeeper, and Harvey Lee Grant, a logger. Horace has an identical twin Harvey, an older sister Bernice, and a younger brother Herschel. From a young age Horace learned the meaning of hard work from his parents, struggling to make ends meet the family made the best of what they had, often wearing shoes with holes in the sole and pants with patches which his mother was always mending. He grew up in an area called “the ghetto” in Sparta, GA where the bathroom was an outhouse in the back yard. Because his parents worked such long hours Horace found rides to and from practice and games knowing he might have a future in basketball.
College Basketball Career
Horace received a full ride scholarship to Clemson University in 1984 where he was the first player to receive Clemson’s ACC player of the year award in 1987. Also in 1987 he was named to the ACC’s 50th anniversary team, and in the same year he led the conference in points, field goal percentage, and rebounding. His freshman year he made two free throw shots to beat North Carolina State, the defending champions! In 2010 he was inducted into the South Carolina State Hall of Fame for his outstanding career at Clemson University.
NBA Basketball Career
WARNING : There is profanity in the song that accompanies this video.
Horace was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 10th overall pick of the 1987 NBA Draft. Standing at 6’10″ the power forward immediately teamed up with the fellow draft-day acquisition Scottie Pippin to form the Bulls’ forward tandem of the future. In 1989 he moved to the starting lineup and immediately became the Bulls’ main rebounder, and established himself as the Bulls’ third scoring option after Michael Jordan and Pippen, forming one of the best NBA trios in history. Noted for his defensive play, Horace was selected four times for the All Defensive Team. While being coached by Phil Jackson he helped Chicago win three consecutive NBA championships (1990-91, 1991-92, and 1992-93). In the 1993 finals against the Phoenix Suns Horace blocked a shot against Kevin Johnson to secure the third consecutive championship. After Jordan’s first retirement following the 1992-93 season, Grant became the number two star behind Pippin, and helped the bulls push the Knicks to seven games in the second round playoff series before being eliminated.
In 1994 Horace was selected to play in the NBA All-Star game, posting four points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes. After posting career-bests in scoring (15.1ppg), rebounding (11.0 rpg), and assists (3.4apg), he left the Bulls as a free agent and joined the Orlando Magic, led by Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway. On May 5, 1995, Grant made the final basket in Boston Garden in Orlando’s series clinching victory over Boston Celtics. He spent 5 years with the Magic before being traded to the Seattle Super Sonics just before the start of the 1999-2000 season.
After spending one year with the Sonics Horace was part of a 3 way trade which placed him with the defending champion Lakers and back under the coaching of Phil Jackson. He helped them win another NBA Championship in 2000-2001, this being his 4th NBA championship! In the off season Grant chose to leave the Lakers for another season with the Orlando Magic only to have the season cut sort for him due to conflict with the coach, Doc Rivers.
In 2003 Horace received a call from Phil Jackson letting him know that the Lakers would love to have him back for another season. Just before the 2004 playoffs Horace discovered that he had a tear in his hip, he decided that this would end his 17 year run with the NBA, he retired feeling extremely blessed to be one of the very few to have played 17 years in the NBA and to be one of even fewer to hold 4 NBA championship titles!
After retiring in 2004 the Grant family moved from Los Angeles to the Central Coast, Grant’s wife Andrea is from Santa Maria and they wanted to be near family. Horace and Andrea have three daughters and when he is home he is assistant coach for his oldest daughter’s basketball team. He is always busy taking his girls to and from school or practice or caring for his 5 German Shepherds. He loves being a hands-on father and can be spotted at the games walking his baby to sleep in the school halls. When at home he takes pride in “his kitchen”, he loves cleaning the kitchen after dinner!
In 2010 Horace was approached by the NBA to be an ambassador, traveling the world to represent the NBA. Since accepting this amazing job he has been to Africa, Turkey, Spain, Qatar, Philippines, and China. He also plays in exhibition games in China with many other NBA legends. Horace might say that he is just as busy now as when he was playing, along with his travels Horace offers a wide variety of personal training, group training and motivational speaking.
When people ask Horace who he credits most for his success he says “God, I feel extremely blessed and fortunate to have been given the talent to pursue this amazing career, and I am equally blessed to have had parents who taught me how to work hard so I would not allow my talent to be wasted. God gives us all gifts of talent, it’s up to us to put in the time and work and give praise to Him when we are successful!”
Facts About Horace
Horace discovered he was legally blind in 1989, his second season with the Bulls, during a routine eye exam. He began wearing the infamous goggles that year. He later underwent Lasik eye surgery but continued to wear the goggles with the intention of being a role model for kids with glasses.
Horace has 5 German shepherds who were imported from Germany with the purpose of being police dogs, he purchased them and trained them as his personal guard dogs. At one time he had 9 German Shepherds!
He enjoys cleaning the kitchen after his wife cooks!
He loves his family’s 12 chickens, stray cat, and 4 horses, along with the 2 small dogs and 5 shepherds! He is often found feeding the chickens, cleaning horse stalls, or putting a warm bed out for the stray cat.
He loves to choose a person who stands out in a restaurant where he is dining to anonymously buy dinner for.
He has an identical twin brother, Harvey Grant, who he played against in the NBA for 12 of his 17 professional years.
He reads and studies the Bible daily.
His nickname in the NBA is “The General”
During many of his early years with the NBA Horace slept at the practice facility, spending late nights and early mornings studying film.
Horace re-tied his shoes when 1 minute 30 seconds was on the clock before every game.
Horace wore a new pair of shoes for every game in his professional career.
If he was having a bad game he would take a shower and change his jersey at half time.
He wears a size 18 shoe!
Horace went to chapel before every game.
A favorite vacation spot for Horace is Yosemite, he loves to take nature hikes with his family.
He is mentioned in a song by P-Diddy “All About the Benjamins”
You can play his character in many Play Station and WII games.
Horace was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show after the first world championship!