PCC’s Basketball Honors
by S.C. Taulbee
Portland Community College (PCC) student-athlete Daniel Hornbuckle has had his share of ups-and-downs on the basketball court. As a freshman in high school, his coach took a chance by placing him on the varsity squad. He excelled, figuring that his success would carry over into college, but as a freshman at Division II University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), Hornbuckle hit a huge speed bump in his career. He warmed the bench, seeing only five minutes playing time—still managing to score ten points.
Hornbuckle refers to his time at UAF as the lowest point of his basketball career. After working his entire life to reach the collegiate level, he wanted the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends, his hometown crowd. But he says the lessons he learned during that time helped to prepare him for where he is now: “I really feel like the worst times in your life are what make or break you and teach you lessons.”
Frustrated at not getting any minutes, his relationship with basketball tenuous, in 2019 Hornbuckle transferred to PCC, where he has had the opportunity to fully showcase his capabilities. As the Panthers men’s team’s leading scorer, averaging over twenty points per game, he has been recognized by the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) and named to the Southern Region First Team. Three other PCC ballers received similar honors: Ethan Chanell and Alonzo Parnell from PCC’s men’s team, and women’s team star India Gultry.
Hornbuckle, a broadcasting and journalism major, calls the NWAC recognition a “tremendous honor,” thanking and crediting God, his coaches, teammates, friends, and mom. “This year’s season was probably the most exciting season I’ve had my whole life,” Hornbuckle says. “I really have to thank my coaches and teammates for sticking with me because it wasn’t all good from the beginning.” Early in the season, on two occasions, he missed what could have been game-winning last-second shots, but has since demonstrated his ability to perform under pressure, hitting two separate buzzer-beaters and securing two wins for his team. Videos of the game-winning shots (from well-behind the arc) can be found accompany- ing this article at www.pccbridge.com.
Because of his achievements, Hornbuckle now has options for transferring to another university next year, but at present, he is undecided about which school will get the benefit of his playing. Speaking about his decision to come to PCC, Hornbuckle points to the relationship he built with PCC’s coaching staff: “I just want to make sure that this time around I go to a school that believes in me like Coach B [PCC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Coach Tony Broadous] has this year.”
Freshman India Gultry, majoring in criminal justice, had a similarly noteworthy season for which the NWAC named her to the All-Freshman Team, as well as All-League Honorable Mention.“I am extremely proud of myself and my team,” she said. “Next year… instead of Honorable Mention, I’m aiming for First Team.”
The women’s squad, like the men’s, was hindered by injury this season. For most of the season they played with only five active players—no substitutions, for forty-eight minutes.
“Draining. Stressful,” Gultry says. “Luckily, we were able to go into each game willing to give it our all.” Gultry earned her NWAC honors in-part for scoring more total points this season than any other player league-wide. On ve separate occasions this year she scored twenty-nine or more points, scoring forty-eight points against Chemeketa Community College.
The Bridge is proud to join in celebrating Gultry, Hornbuckle, Parnell, Chanell, and the rest of the student-athletes who work hard every day to excel on the court and in the classroom.