Bonita’s Horine ready to leave last impression in Saturday’s Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic

Saturday, April 28 at Damien High
Girls game, 4 p.m.; Boys game, 6 p.m.

Boys: Tribune 98, Star-News 87, Star-News leads series, 5-3.
Girls: Tribune 80, Star-News 69, Star-News leads series, 5-3.

By Aram Tolegian, Staff Writer
The Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic on Saturday will hold special meaning for Bonita High School’s Garrett Horine.

As a two-sport standout in football and basketball, Horine had to make the difficult decision most athletes in his position face as their careers move to the next level. Basketball or football?

For Horine, it will be football next fall at Mt. San Antonio College.

That makes Saturday’s game his last in a basketball uniform.

“I’ve got to make it big and go out big,” Horine said of Saturday’s game.

It may be hard to understand how a player who was named Hacienda League MVP after leading his team to an undefeated run in league would be willing to quit basketball in favor of football. A quick look at Horine’s 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame tells you why. Plus, he can be the trendsetter in a family steeped with stardom in both basketball and baseball.

Horine’s sister Carly was Bonita’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball until cousin Madison Zylstra broke her record last season.

Madison Zylstra is the little sister of Brock Zylstra, who was the 2005 Tribune Player of the Year before going on to play at BYU. Then, there’s the Pill side of the family, which has produced several baseball standouts, including current major leaguer Brett Pill of the San Francisco Giants.

“Everyone always talks about our family and how we’re all athletic,” Horine said. “I’m proud of it.”

Horine wasn’t expected to be this good in basketball. Last fall, he earned Hacienda League Defensive MVP honors as a safety for the Bearcats football team. Once Bonita was eliminated from the playoffs, Horine turned his focus to basketball, where he was the only returning starter from a Bonita team that swept the Hacienda League and made a deep run in the playoffs in 2011. All Horine did was go out and average 12.5 points per game, 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals per game en route to being named the league’s top player. (To continue click thread)l

Coach: Will Bissman, Covina
Coach: Jason Rochwerg, Wilson
Chris Reyes, Damien
Wesley Burke, Glendora
Treavon Francis, Northview
Kyle Maloof, Claremont
Derrick Mar, Rowland
Garrett Horine, Bonita
Taylor Olvera, Bishop Amat
Brandon Croom, Walnut
Vance Valencia, Los Altos
Corey Serna, South Hills
Nino Harrell, Covina
Bryce Kato, Wilson
Jordan Blackburn, Azusa
Ryan Del Rosario, Wilson
Matt Adamo, Bonita
Edgardo Campos, Covina

Coach: Nick Masi, Covina
Ashli Baddorf, Covina
Marissa Clark, Covina
Kaysee Tayag, Bishop Amat
Chelsea Barnes, Diamond Ranch
Tyvette White, Diamond Rach
Brianna Kennedy, Bonita
Taylor Jackson, San Dimas
Jaimie Hou, Wilson
Savannah Selby, St. Lucys
Evelyn Herrera, Workman
Natalie Iam, West Covina
Merrissa Suarez, Charter Oak
Alice Lao, Rowland
Yasmine Wilson, Duarte
Michelle Trieu, Arroyo

With family members like his, maybe it wasn’t such a big surprise.

“I knew I could do it because I had been on varsity for three years, but in the years before I was filling my role and not the big star,” Horine said. “Senior year, I had to step up and be a star.”

Horine’s football skills are of big use on the hardwood. He uses his athleticism to be an excellent defender, and his anticipation skills from being a safety also translate nicely into going up for jump balls or loose balls.

“Being a safety helps you read what’s happening,” Horine said. “You can react faster and steal balls.”

Unfortunately, basketball doesn’t allow Horine all that football does when it comes to being physical.

“I prefer football because I can hit and I like hitting people,” Horine said. “It’s more fun.”

The Tribune/Star-News All-Star Classic isn’t Horine’s only all-star duty. He will also play in the Hall of Fame All-Star football game in June. Being an all-star in two sports only goes with the territory of being all-CIF in both as well.

“I’m just happy with myself and how hard I worked to get to where I am now,” Horine said.

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  • Bonita

    Congrats to both Garrett Horine and Matt Adamo for leading the Bonita basketball team to undefeated Hacienda league title this year. They are both deserving of this honor. Also congrats to Coach Greg Eckler for his coach of the year award.