Trip Helped Henderson

Sure it's early in the recruiting process for most elite junior prospects, but Philadelphia standout Gerald Henderon, Jr knows that in order to realize his ultimate dream he's got to take care of business. So the 6-foot-5 shooting guard took an unofficial to the triangle last week. <I></I> caught up with him this week to discuss the trip to Duke.

"I had a chance to meet Coach K for the first time," said Gerald Henderson. "He and his staff made it very clear just how much they want me to come to Duke."

Indeed the entire Duke basketball staff spent the day ushering Henderson and his father around the campus, making stops at various landmarks before getting a chance to watch the current crop of Blue Devils work out.

"We saw the Duke Chapel, Cameron, and Coach K's office building. We had a chance to go in and see all the facilities they have as well as the locker room. Then Coach K showed me the plans for the new practice facility that is going to be built. It was really impressive to see."

Equally important for the No. 17 player in the class of 2006 was the chance to learn how Coach K sees Henderson fitting in should he decide to enroll at Duke in the fall of 2006.

"He told me that he sees me as a kind of player they wouldn't have on the roster when I get there. That I could play a kind of hybrid between shooting guard and small forward. To be able to do that kind of thing I'd need to work on my perimeter game, but it's the kind of style I'm looking for."

And what else does Henderson think he'd need to improve on?

"Aside from my jump shooting, I need to work on defending smaller players. My dad is always telling me that I have no idea how hard I need to work in order to make it to the NBA. So I take every chance I can get to improve and work hard so that I can realize my dream of getting there some day."

And while the visit to the Research Triangle area allowed Gerald the chance to meet new coaching staffs at Wake Forest, North Carolina, and North Carolina State, it also gave him a chance to catch up with a long time aquaintence.

"Coach Dawkins and my dad played together in the NBA, and I've known him for a really long time – since I was really young. It was good to see him again and catch up."

Currently sporting a list of Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Villanova, and Wake Forest, Henderson says he's in no rush to make a decision at this point, but he does have a timetable.

"I hope to have it done before my senior year of high school. I'm looking forward to being able to enjoy that without thinking about colleges and things like that."

Henderson also added that he would like to major in business and location would not be a factor in his decision.

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