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Archive for Sunday, April 26, 2009

Q&A on the recruitment to KU of Xavier and C.J. Henry

April 26, 2009

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Why it's pronounced 'ZAH-vee-ay':

Carl and Barbara Henry decided to name their youngest son, “Xavier” — pronunciation identical to the Atlantic-10 Conference college located in Cincinnati.

Doctors and nurses in the hospital in Belgium where baby Henry was born had a different idea.

They preferred, “ZAH-vee-ay.”

So, it’s been “ZAH-vee-ay” ever since.

“After my dad got done playing in the NBA, he played overseas where I was born. The way they said it in Belgium was ‘ZAH-vee-ay,’’’ said 18-year-old Xavier Henry, who on Thursday signed a grant-in-aid to play basketball at Kansas University.

Ex-Jayhawk guard/forward Carl Henry says his son’s name is often butchered, even to this day.

“My friends get it wrong. They say all kind of stuff, like ‘Javier,’’’ Carl told Prepticket.com reporter Mike Rigg. “He used to correct them. Now he won’t say anything. He’ll just say, ‘They got my name wrong again.’’’

Xavier’s brother, who is also headed to KU after a red-shirt year at Memphis, goes by C.J. Henry, which stands for Carl, Jr.

To the left of this item begins a Q and A regarding the recruitment of Xavier and C.J. Henry, which opened up on April 1 when University of Memphis coach John Calipari left the Conference USA school for Kentucky.

— Gary Bedore

Carl and Barbara Henry decided to name their youngest son, “Xavier” — pronunciation identical to the Atlantic-10 Conference college located in Cincinnati.

Doctors and nurses in the hospital in Belgium where baby Henry was born had a different idea.

They preferred, “ZAH-vee-ay.”

So, it’s been “ZAH-vee-ay” ever since.

“After my dad got done playing in the NBA, he played overseas where I was born. The way they said it in Belgium was ‘ZAH-vee-ay,’’’ said 18-year-old Xavier Henry, who on Thursday signed a grant-in-aid to play basketball at Kansas University.

Ex-Jayhawk guard/forward Carl Henry says his son’s name is often butchered, even to this day.

“My friends get it wrong. They say all kind of stuff, like ‘Javier,’’’ Carl told Prepticket.com reporter Mike Rigg. “He used to correct them. Now he won’t say anything. He’ll just say, ‘They got my name wrong again.’’’

Xavier’s brother, who is also headed to KU after a red-shirt year at Memphis, goes by C.J. Henry, which stands for Carl, Jr.

The following is a Q and A regarding the recruitment of Xavier and C.J. Henry, which opened up on April 1 when University of Memphis coach John Calipari left the Conference USA school for Kentucky.

Q: Is it true C.J. Henry played baseball? If so, how did he fare?

A: C.J. Henry — who was a baseball/basketball standout at Putnam City (Okla.) High School — was a first-round pick of the New York Yankees (17th overall) in the 2005 MLB Draft.

He received a hefty $1.6 million signing bonus.

The speedy shortstop hit .249 with three home runs, 17 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in ’05 for the Yankees’ rookie league team in Tampa, Fla.

Centerpiece of a 2006 trade that sent Philadelphia’s Bobby Abreau to New York, Henry hit .240 with two homers, 33 RBIs and 14 stolen bases for Class A Charleston, S.C., and .253 with one homer and 16 RBIs for Class A Lakewood, Fla.

Moved to the outfield in ’07, Henry hit .184 with nine homers and 38 RBIs with 13 stolen bases in 102 games for Class A Lakewood, Fla.

He returned to the Yankees in 2008, hitting .234 for a high Class A Team in Tampa.

Q: Will C.J. be eligible to play next season at KU? Normally players have to sit out a year after transferring.

A: C.J.’s mom, Barbara, says her oldest son will indeed be immediately eligible.

“According to the NCAA rules, with C.J. being a non-recruited athlete, his scholarship was being financed through the Yankees which makes him qualified for a one-time transfer rule. He’ll be able to play,” Barbara said.

C.J. Henry, who sat out last season because of a broken bone in his foot, says he was a “non-recruited athlete” because Memphis didn’t actively pursue him.

He cell-phoned coach John Calipari, who is one of his dad’s friends, and said he was giving up on baseball and wanted to play hoops for him in Memphis.

The J-W has been told if Calipari backs him up on this, he should be eligible to play during the 2009-10 season. If, however, former Memphis coach Calipari says he recruited Henry, C.J. would likely have to sit out a year in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

It’s believed Henry will not be able to appeal. It’s a cut-and-dried case of whether he was recruited ... or not.

Q: Why will C.J. Henry be a sophomore next season? If he was a red-shirt freshman at Memphis, shouldn’t he be a freshman at KU?

A: The NCAA starts the clock ticking once a player turns 21. Henry, 23 next month, had four years left to play once he turned 21 and one of those four years was spent recovering from a broken foot while he attended Memphis.

It’s a moot point, anyway.

C.J. doesn’t want to play college ball for four years. He wants to play pro ball as soon as possible.

Q: Being that C.J. is a millionaire, will he live in Jayhawker Towers or rent a luxury apartment in Lawrence?

A: Dad Carl says he’s encouraged C.J. to live in the Towers so he’ll be around his teammates as much as possible. It’s likely C.J. would want to do that anyway, likely with younger brother Xavier as his roomie.

Q: Considering the fact Carl and Barbara Henry both played at KU ... who wins in family driveway games of 1-on-1?

A: Let Putnam City High coach A.D. Burtschi answer: “C.J. bragged all the time that his brother never beat him. Of course Carl stepped in and said his sons never beat him. I told them, ‘You know what? I bet Barbara beat you all.’’’

Xavier says he’s only beaten C.J. “one time in my life. I stopped playing him after that.”

Q: How good were the Henry brothers at Putnam City High?

A: C.J. was part of one state title team; Xavier two.

“On many occasions, I’d find myself looking at my assistant and say, ‘I should pay to get to watch this,’’’ Pirates’ coach Burtschi said.

Q: Is Xavier Henry the best player to ever play at Putnam City High?

A: Nope. Former University of Oklahoma and Phoenix Suns standout Alvan Adams currently holds the distinction.

“As far as legacy, people say, ‘Is Xavier the greatest player you ever coached?’” Burtschi said. “That’s unfair. He’s not done yet. When all is said and done, we’ll see. I was asked if he’s in a class by himself. I’m sure if he’s not in the class, it doesn’t take long to take roll.”

Q: Is Xavier Henry definitely a “one and done” college player?

A: That’s the plan.

Carl says NBA scouts have told him his son was physically ready for the NBA his junior year of high school.

Xavier says all he’s thinking about right now is helping KU “win the national title and make it two (titles) in three years.”

Basically we all should, “Wait and see.”

Remember, Brandon Rush never thought he’d play more than one year at KU ... and he played three seasons here.

Q: Didn’t the Henry recruiting saga drag on and on?

A: Not really.

Calipari accepted the Kentucky job on April 1.

Xavier, who was busy playing for Team USA in the Nike Hoops Summit in Oregon, and Jordan Brand Classic in New York, was able to finalize his college choice by April 21.

Three weeks is not a long time to finalize a decision of that magnitude with family members spread out all over the country.

Q: Is KU through recruiting?

A: Self says he believes he’s finished recruiting the Class of 2009.

Maybe so, but I would think Self would gladly welcome aboard point guard-deluxe John Wall if he decides he wants to join buddy Henry at KU for a season or two. One would think there’s no room for small forward Lance Stephenson, even if the 6-6 guard/forward wants to be a Jayhawk.

KU has filled its allotment of 13 scholarships.

That means if somebody else signs, a current Jayhawk has to give up his scholarship or transfer.

KU (barring any further additions) will likely have at least three scholarships available to players in the Class of 2010 following the graduation of Sherron Collins and Mario Little and likely departure of Cole Aldrich to the NBA. A fourth could be available if Henry turns pro.

KU has already filled one of the slots with shooting guard Royce Woolridge of Phoenix.

Comments

davidsmom 5 years, 7 months ago

This still doesn't answer whether or not CJ has to return the scholarship money to the Yankees since is he not planning to return to them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

You're the only one in the world that I know of who is worried about this, davidsmom. If there was a contract dispute between Henry and the Yankees, I think we'd all have heard about it by now.

maxcrabb 5 years, 7 months ago

Oh, no. The poor Yankees! Won't somebody think of the Yankees!?!

Jeff Kilgore 5 years, 7 months ago

jkilgore (Anonymous) says…

To the Yankees, 1.6M is seed money. They don't get it right on all their selections, but if they're right even 20% of the time, they're still able to. . . wait. What place are they in, in the East?

bangaranggerg 5 years, 7 months ago

I hadn't heard that anyone was questioning weather he had to give the money back or not because most people understand "signing bonus" and contract law. It's his money, he needs to stay healthy though and respect the wishes of the team that holds his rights. Also, I had heard a rumor over and over that Morningstar was ready to give his scholly up for the good of the team. His dad can pay for his school, and he doesn't need a scholorship to be remembered as a great contributor to a legendary team.

davidsmom 5 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't at all worried for anybody, just curious.

slowplay 5 years, 7 months ago

I haven't looked this up yet to verify, but IIRC, CJ is still the property of the Yankees, and will be until he officially retires from baseball (or is traded). The scholarship money was part of the original contract (common with HS draftees), and although CJ chose to play in the minors, the Yankees are still on the hook for his tuition while he is in school.

aks7 5 years, 7 months ago

I am not convinced that CJ is going to receive clearance to play at KU this year. The only person saying it is going to happen is his Mom. I think this still leaves a little doubt about whether Xavier will come, since, if I am not mistaken, Xavier has only orally committed to come to KU

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