Keith Van Horn, the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NBA Draft, already was married with kids by the time he began his career with the then-New Jersey Nets.
After five seasons with the team, he played for four teams in five years, including half a season with the Knicks.
Although Van Horn appreciated the glamour of the NBA, he had more long-term concerns on his mind.
"The lifestyle is not conducive to me being a good dad," Van Horn told amNewYork by phone.
Van Horn, who averaged 16 points and 6.8 rebounds over 575 career games and nine seasons, retired in 2006 at the age of 30 after playing a reserve role with the Western Conference champion Mavericks.
"I needed to provide stability for them and be there for them. I couldn't do that playing in the NBA," he said of his children.
Since retirement, Van Horn has been keeping himself busy in the hoops realm. As founder and executive director of the Colorado Premier Basketball Club, the former starting forward for the 2002 Eastern Conference champion Nets has been utilizing his experiences to coach and mentor kids in the greater Denver area.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the hoops program holds basketball camps, leagues and tournaments for kids 3-19. The club also facilitates training and beginner skills sessions for all levels.
Van Horn does not have time to keep up with the NBA game but is appreciative for the life that it has provided him and his family.
"I miss camaraderie with teammates, but the lifestyle in the NBA I wouldn't say that I miss it."