On March 2, 1997 at Dallas, Horacio Llamas made history by becoming the first Mexican-born player to appear in an NBA game. He played in 20 games for the Suns in 1996-97 and eight games in 1997-98 before missing the entire 1998-99 campaign due to a bruised right foot and Achilles tendon.
Born in El Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico, Llamas attended Grand Canyon University for two seasons, where his play caught the eye of several NBA scouts and earned him an invitation to play in the Nike Desert Classic. As a senior, Llamas averaged 17.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 29 games, as he led Grand Canyon to to a 23-6 record and a berth in the West Region postseason tournament. His efforts earned him 1996 NCAA Division II Player of the Year honors by the Basketball Times as well as All-California Collegiate Athletic Association First Team honors for the second straight season. In two years at Grand Canyon, Llamas also set school records for blocked shots in a game (10), season (106) and career (172).
Llamas started his collegiate career at Pima Community College, where he was a two-time Arizona Junior College Athletic Association All-League selection, averaging 18.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 4.0 apg during his sophomore year. As a freshman, he totaled 13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.0 apg. In addition, Llamas participated at the 1995 World University Games for the Mexican National Team, where he was Mexico's leading scorer (23.6 ppg) and rebounder (9.6 rpg).
Llamas got the call-up to the Suns on February 21, 1997, by signing the first of two-consecutive ten day contracts. He was then signed for the remainder of the season on March 13 and averaged 1.7 points per game for 20 appearances, including two starts. Llamas started the season with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the CBA, where he averaged 8.2 points (.518 FG), 4.9 rebounds and 1.70 blocked shots in 19.7 minutes per game.
He played in eight games for the Suns in 1997-98, averaging 3.0 ppg, and missed the entire 1998-99 season becausue of a bruised right foot and Achilles tendon.
1998-1999 REGULAR SEASON
Placed on the injured list on 2/4
1997-1998 REGULAR SEASON
On the injured list from 2/12 to 4/9 due to a bruised left heel
On the injured list from 11/21 to 1/30 due to lower back spasms