For Dominicans, Celtics star Al Horford is a national treasure after NBA championship victory

Tue, Jun 18, 2024
NBA News (AP)

For Dominicans, Celtics star Al Horford is a national treasure after NBA championship victory

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Al Horford is being celebrated in the Dominican Republic after the Boston Celtics center became the first player from the country to win an NBA title on Monday.

Horford - whose full name is Alfred Joel Horford Reynoso - has been congratulated by the president of the Dominican Republic, international bachata stars and others after finally winning a championship in his 17th NBA season.

"Al Horford has made history as the first Dominican to win an NBA Finals series," President Luis Abinader said on X. "What great pride for our country! Congratulations on your incredible achievement." The tweet included an emoji of the Dominican flag and the hashtag #OrgulloDominicano, or #DominicanPride.

The Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to win the franchise's 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

"I feel proud to represent all the Dominicans, no just over there, but in the world because I know they're in different places in Europe and here in the United States," said Horford, who had a Dominican flag tucked in his waistband while posing for photos with the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

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Horford, from Puerto Plata, joins a short list of Latino players to win an NBA title: Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto from Argentina, Butch Lee and J.J. Barea from Puerto Rico, Carl Herrera from Venezuela, Leandro Barbosa from Brazil, and Juan Toscano-Anderson from Mexico.

Dominican maestro Juan Luis Guerra also congratulated the 38-year-old Celtics star with an Instagram post of the basketball team and a caption that read "Glory to God!!."

The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Sports posted a picture on X with text reading "Dominican Pride."

Horford earned his first ring in his 15th playoff appearance. The 38-year-old has played in the Finals twice. He is the son of Tito Horford, a retired Dominican basketball star who played in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Horford moved to Michigan from the Dominican Republic with his family before heading to Florida to play college basketball for the Gators.

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