Former UT basketball player finds piece of history

October 24, 2014 | Athletics, Features



James JP Horne played basketball for The University of Toledo from 1995 to 1997. Until recently, he believed the jersey he wore during his days on the court was gone forever.

Former Rocket basketball player James JP Horne reclaimed his jersey, No. 14, from the mannequin in the Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center.

Former Rocket basketball player James JP Horne reclaimed his jersey, No. 14, from the mannequin in the Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center.

A few weeks ago, Horne noticed something interesting in the Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center as he was preparing for an interviewing encounter, an exercise that is part of the graduate nursing program. He is enrolled in the UT Master of Science in Nursing Degree and Clinical Leadership Program.

In the Hillebrand Clinical Skills Center, there is a mannequin that formerly was used for simulation exercises but has been retired to a waiting room where students make suggestions regarding its attire.

A couple of years ago, the Athletic Department donated UT basketball and football jerseys for the mannequin. While waiting for the interviewing encounter, Horne saw the mannequin dressed in a basketball uniform.

Noticing the uniform was the one used during the time he played, he got up and walked across the room to look at it.

“I noticed that the mannequin was wearing the same style of jersey we wore in the mid-90s. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pulled up the jersey to see my number 14; the memories that induced were overwhelming,” Horne said.

He and his father had been looking for years for the jersey.

“My initial thoughts were about my father, who has recently been diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. He’s always wanted to see that jersey in a shadow box, and the possibility of being able to give him something he’s talked about for the last 15 years will be a moment I’ll cherish for the rest of my days,” Horne said.

He made arrangements with the UT Athletic Department to exchange his jersey for another one. On Oct. 9, he was finally able to take home his jersey.

Horne said he plans to build a shadow box for the jersey and give it to his parents.

“I’d like to thank two fantastic people in the Athletic Department, David Nottke [senior associate athletic director] and Mike Renard [head equipment manager]. I’ve known them since my playing days in the 1990s, and they were happy to help me procure my old jersey.

“It’s people like David Nottke and Mike Renard, along with Coach Tod Kowalczyk and Coach Jason Kaslow, that make UT athletics great. I’m blessed to be a part of the UT basketball family,” Horne said.