Bosh's buddy put through paces

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

Daniel Horton has a leg up on other prospects hoping to be selected by the Raptors in the second round of next month's NBA draft.

Horton, who just completed his senior year at Michigan and was at the ACC yesterday for a pre-draft workout, is a close friend of Raptors star Chris Bosh.

The two Texas natives -- Bosh is from Dallas, Horton hails from nearby Cedar Hill -- went to different high schools, but have been playing together during the summer months and all-star teams since the Grade 9.

Horton said he likes Toronto, having visited with Bosh in the past, but the relationship alone did not earn him yesterday's invite.

The 6-foot-3 point guard has shown flashes of great skill on the court. He was the 2004 NIT tournament MVP, 2003 Big Ten freshmen of the year and a high school all-American.

After Horton's strong freshmen season, he looked like a surefire first-round pick, but stumbled through horrific sophomore and junior campaigns, before rebounding with a stellar senior year that saw him average 17.7 points per game, 5.3 assists per game on the way to Big Ten honours.

Horton said Bosh's ascent to NBA stardom has given him confidence that he also can play at the highest level.

"I always knew (Bosh) would be good," Horton said. "(But) seeing what he does (in the NBA) makes me think I can be successful too."

Along with a first-round selection that will fall somewhere between one and seven, the Raptors also own the 35th and 56th picks of the draft.

Horton has been pegged as being a late second-round pick and his size, familiarity with Bosh and scoring ability could earn him a look.

Horton was nursing a sore ankle yesterday, but Jim Kelly, Raptors director of collegiate player personnel, said that didn't hamper him. "He's a good shooter and very talented," Kelly said.

Still, Horton's style of play is closer to Mike James than that of Jose Calderon and Toronto general manager Bryan Colangelo always has favoured pass-first point guards.

The Raptors also had possible second-round selection Yemi Nicholson, a 6-foot-11 behemoth from Denver in town, along with centre Jeff Daisley of Mercyhurst College and guard Steve Burtt of Iona.

The first elite prospect to be worked out by the Raptors, Marcus Williams, the University of Connecticut point guard, arrives today.

The Raptors also will put former Eastern Commerce star Jermaine Anderson through the paces today.


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