Exclusive: Al Horford Talks NBA, Charity, & Married Life With Former Miss Universe, Amelia Vega

What is the sweetest thing you’ve done for her?

For her birthday last year, I flew down her two cousins that are like sisters to her and her best friend. On the day of her birthday I had a game so we’re having lunch before I have to go to the arena and I had my friend pick them up at the airport and I actually put them in plastic bags in front of out house. I think we put a ribbon on them. She goes outside and she starts freaking out, “What’s going on? What’s going on?!” I actually pulled it off without tipping her off; her friends never said anything to her. She was super excited and super grateful. Plus, we won the game! We had a big party at the house to celebrate her birthday in style.

I read that her uncle is legendary Dominican musician, Juan Luis Guerra.

We grew up with Juan Luis Guerra! I grew up watching him and listening to his music and I actually met him before we were even together. He came to Atlanta for a concert, and came up to me backstage and he said, ‘Hey I’m a big fan of yours!’ and I’m like, ‘What? No way!’ We even got married at his house! That’s where the wedding was.

What can we expect from you and the Atlanta Hawks this season?

It’s very exciting. We have a lot of changes and new faces this year and we have a chance to be good.

Is your team good enough to beat the Miami Heat?

You go into it saying we have to beat the Heat, but even if we beat them, it doesn’t do anything it’s just one game. Yeah, you want to beat them for sure, but this season we’re going to be the best team that we can be.

You, Carmelo Anthony, and the Gasol brothers (Marc & Pau) are probably the biggest Latino names in the NBA. What do you think is the future for Latinos in the NBA?

I’m actually starting to see more players coming from our countries. Even here in the States there is a lot of Latin guys who are playing college basketball. It’s harder to get to this level, but I definitely see some growth. Probably in the next 10 years you’re going to see a lot more Latinos in the NBA.