Future Blue Hen Horton shines at Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament

Blue Hen recruit Ithiel Horton, right, contributed 12 points and a team-high three steals for Roselle Catholic (N.J.) in a 87-69 win over defending state champion Smyrna at the Slam Dunk to the Beach Tournament. Special to the Delaware State News/Chuck Snyder

LEWES — Some of the best high school basketball players in the country were in Delaware this week.

One of them will be playing college basketball here too.

Ithiel Horton gave Delaware a sneak preview of his game while playing at the Slam Dunk to the Beach tournament this week at Cape Henlopen High. The senior guard out of Roselle Catholic (New Jersey) is committed to the University of Delaware.

Horton relished the opportunity to play in the same state which will be his home for the next four years.

“I love this state, I kind of wish I was from here,” Horton said. “It’s amazing.”

Horton’s Roselle Catholic squad earned a pair of victories at the tournament, which took place from Wednesday to Friday,

One of those wins came over defending Delaware state champion Smyrna High on Thursday. Horton contributed 12 points and a team-high three steals for Roselle Catholic in a 87-69 win over the Eagles.

Horton was the first player from the Class of 2018 to commit to the Blue Hens.

He played his first three years of high school basketball at St. Anthony’s in New Jersey before the school closed down. That sent him to Roselle Catholic for his senior year.

He said he was always curious about the University of Delaware because of driving through the state so often to visit family.

“Delaware sits perfect,” Horton said. “People kind of overlook Delaware. I used to drive past Delaware every day and was like ‘Wow I wonder what that campus is like.’ So when they offered me I knew I wanted to go visit. The facilities are great, academics a really good and the basketball team is coming up, coach Ingelsby is a great coach.”

Horton is a 6-foot-4 shooting guard. He displayed his shooting stroke against Smyrna, draining three three-pointers.

Since Delaware had a game against Cornell the same day as Roselle Catholic’s second game of the Slam Dunk tournament, Horton wasn’t able to spend time with his future teammates. But he said he regular talks to UD coach Martin Ingelsby and many of the current crop of players.

“I keep in touch with coach Ingelsby and some of the players,” Horton said. “I can’t wait to be a Blue Hen.”

“We’re going to have a really good group next year,” he added. “Between Kevin Anderson, Ryan Allen, Ryan Daly, Walker and Eric Carter, we’re going to be really nice next year. Stay tuned in.”

All-tournament team announced

Smyrna’s Caleb Matthews (left)

Smyrna’s Caleb Matthews became the first Kent County played to be named to Slam Dunk to the Beach’s all-tournament team since the tournament restarted.

Matthews recorded a triple-double in Smyrna’s first game of the tournament against Howard before leading the Eagles with 19 points in the defeat to Roselle Catholic.

The rest of the all-tournament team was Jake Forrester (Westtown, Pa.), Cam Reddish (Westtown, Pa.), Juwan Gray (Gray Collegiate, S.C.), Mason Hooks (Harvard Westlake, Ca.), Jalen Carey (Immaculate Conception, N.J.) and Simi Shittu (Vermont Academy).

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