Archive for Sunday, September 2, 2012

Xavier Henry relishes KU return

Ex-Jayhawk/current Hornet beats Isaac out of New Orleans

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

September 2, 2012


New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets shooting guard Xavier Henry (4) dunks the ball during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in New Orleans, Friday, March 2, 2012. The Hornets won 97-92.

New Orleans Hornets guard Xavier Henry — who had been working out in the Big Easy after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on July 27 — hopped in his car and headed north last Monday, just a few hours ahead of Hurricane Isaac.

“I was down there with some of my teammates getting ready for the season early because we’re so young,” said Henry, a 21-year-old, third-year pro out of Kansas University.

“We’re trying to get acclimated with each other. They told us Hurricane Isaac was coming and didn’t know how bad it would be, so they let us evacuate. I went home (to Oklahoma City) and got some treatment then came here,” Henry added before the KU-South Dakota State football game Saturday outside Memorial Stadium.

Henry played at KU as a freshman in 2009-10 before entering the NBA Draft, where he was selected 12th overall by Memphis. He spent the weekend in his former college town, headed back to OKC on Sunday and was to drive back to rain-soaked New Orleans sometime this week.

“It’s great to be out here because the atmosphere at Kansas is something I’ve never been around ever in my life. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life,” Henry said of his year as a Jayhawk, in which he averaged 13.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

The sweet-shooting lefty, who helped KU to a 33-3 record, has battled a series of injuries his first two years in the pros.

“Injuries happen to everybody. It’s how you deal with them,” said Henry, who played in just 38 games for the Grizzlies his rookie season. Memphis cut ties with the 6-foot-6, 220-pounder, trading him to New Orleans last January for a future second-round pick.

“I learned by being mature, by having to grow up, that the only way I can get past it (injury) is playing through it and doing the best I can. I’ve done my part getting the surgery I needed. I just need to rehabilitate to the best of my ability and go out there and have fun,” added Henry, who averaged 5.3 points off 39.5 percent shooting while logging 16.9 minutes a game in 45 games for the Hornets a year ago.

He upped his scoring average to 12.2 ppg in Las Vegas summer league action in July.

“We (he and the Hornets) hope so,” Henry said, asked if this would be his breakout season. “I’m going to come in and bring energy, scoring, defense. I play an all-around game. That’s what they’ve been looking for me to do. With my knee healthy now, hopefully I can play this whole season healthy and have a great season,” added Henry, who has one year left on his contract with an option for the following season.

Henry on Saturday provided an update on his brother, former KU guard C.J. Henry, who transferred to Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City after also playing one season at KU.

“He’s getting back into baseball again. He’s having fun with that, working out a lot back home (OKC),” Xavier said of C.J., a former first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees. “He’s waiting for this offseason to get back in (and sign with an MLB team). He’s doing his best right now to get in baseball shape, get everything in focus. I don’t know how much hard work it takes for baseball, but he’s definitely putting it in.”

C.J. is 26 years old, five years older than Xavier.

“I’d be a senior this year. Me, Elijah and T-Rob (Thomas Robinson, Sacramento Kings) came in together,” said Henry, who enjoyed visiting with former teammates Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford on Saturday at a basketball team autograph signing session for fans on KU’s football practice field. “It’s nice to come back. Everybody still enjoys me and appreciates what I’ve done, and I appreciate everything they’ve done for me as well. I love this place.”

He also is fond of New Orleans and is relieved Hurricane Isaac did not devastate the city.

“In New Orleans, I was hearing the power got cut, but the floods weren’t bad,” Henry said. “Near the border line, I heard the water was over rooftops with broken levees and stuff. It wasn’t bad in New Orleans, but I feel really bad for those affected.”


rtwngr 5 years ago

C.J. Henry, another genius. Should have taken the money and the shot at the Yankees when you first got it. 26 years old, not even on a minor league team, and trying to make it to the bigs? Doesn't look too hopeful.

weeslicket 5 years ago

errr....... cj DID take the money and the shot at the yankees. $1.6 million and his education paid for. when the baseball didn't workout, he came to ku (after choosing memphis), and then etc. etc.

instead of criticizing the man, shouldn't you be praising him? after all, he became a millionaire at a young age "all on his own".

msezdsit 5 years ago

As uninformed and off base as you always are.

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Selby was a train wreck, but Henry, I kind of felt a little bit for him. Watching his exit, with the air of indecision that seemed to hang over it even as he was announcing his departure, I kind of got the impression that the decision had more to do with his dad than it did with him.

Could be mistaken, of course, but that was the impression I was left with after watching his recruitment, play, and ultimate decision.

msezdsit 5 years ago

"Selby was a train wreck"
Selby tore up the nba summer league. you might want to check him out. He was the mvp of the summer league. He had to overcome the idiotic Ncaa and injuries but he looks like he is for real and in the NBA for a long time. Probably may have made Henry expendable at memphis.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

Selby was a victim of the NBA's stupid rule about attending college for one year. He didn't want to go to any school. But forced to, he chose K.U., who probably didn't want him as much as they didn't want Kentucky to get him. But when forced to choose, he did pick us, so whatever happens from here, I wish him nothing but the best.

msezdsit 5 years ago

The NBA has no rule about attending college for a year. Selby's year here was ruined by the Ncaa penalizing him for having a father figure , whom had helped Selby and his mother way before he was a top prospect. He was injured and really never regained full strength which he appears to be finally almost fully recovered.

I absolutely guarantee Bill Self wanted Selby to come here as bad as any player he has ever recruited.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

Although they don't have to go to college, those coming out of high school can't go to the NBA, as per NBA rules. Sure, they could go to Europe or sit out a year. But for all practical purposes, college has become a minor league for the NBA. But for someone like Selby, who thought he was NBA ready and many in the NBA thought he was ready, he should have been allowed to go. Selby wanted no part of any college, but since he was forced, he chose us.

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Perhaps I should have phrased that as Selby's time at KU was a trainwreck. I certainly don't fault him, or any other player, for making what decision they think is best for themselves. And I agree that the problem is the rule, and not Selby himself.

msezdsit 5 years ago

Right, he had an awful time here but had he stayed another year I think he would have turned it around like he seems to have in the NBA, a tough place to get your ship righted.

jonas_opines 5 years ago

Yeah, if he had stayed, had a chance to break in on the scrub teams and get into rhythm, I think he would have been quite impressive, and upped his draft stock substantially. But it's hard to say that KU would have had more success with him on the team, with the way things turned out.

Mike Ford 5 years ago

I will wear a selby grizzlies shirt just to aggrevate the KU homers when they're available. He shot something like 50 or 60 percent from the THREE point line and was ridiculous in Vegas when I watched him on NBA TV this summer. Life exists outside the KU bubble.....

jonas_opines 5 years ago

"Life exists outside the KU bubble....."

Sure it does, but what's the point?

Anyway, I'd rather have nails driven into my eyes than be forced to watch the crap, everybody shoot the ball NOW!-fest that is the NBA.

jaywalker 5 years ago

Gee, that's swell he did great in the D league. Doesn't mean jack as to the actual NBA. Pretty sure the only "fans" that wear D league jerseys are trapped in South Dakota. Bully for you.

msezdsit 5 years ago

thomas robinson played in the summer league. He didn't win the MVP

Mike Ford 5 years ago

really....I go to OKC Thunder games from here and you still sound like a in the bubble hater.....

jonas_opines 5 years ago

I suspect that your perspective of someone else's hate is pretty distorted by all the ambient hate that you appear to generate pretty much 24-7.

I have too much pride to hate anything to do with sports, but I still find the NBA to be entirely un-entertaining. Do wish Durant the best, though, even if I was rooting for LeBron to finally get his ring this last time around.

Because not much is more fun than watching haters eat crow. And LeBron has a Lot of haters, that all sound like jilted ex-lovers.

msezdsit 5 years ago

I have been put off by the NBA but in recent years it has become almost as entertaining as college ball. You can't beat the talent in the NBA and it is the only place you can find it.

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