Mycheal Henry Excites Illini Faithful

Four future Illini basketball players showed their wares at the recent Shootout at the Hall. Possibly the most impressive was Chicago Orr standout Mycheal Henry. He scored repeatedly to help his team defeat a talented group from Alabama. He believes he can provide a positive contribution to the Illini as a freshman next season.

Mycheal Henry scored on dunks, midrange jumpers and long bombs for his Chicago Orr team against Lee High School from Huntsville, Alabama, in the Assembly Hall on December 11. He led all scorers with 32 points, but he wasn't pleased with his game.

"I wasn't feeling it tonight. I had a bad game. I put up bad shots and didn't let the game come to me."

He also may not have been fully recovered from an injury he suffered a week or so earlier.

"I got kneed a little bit in my leg. It feels better now.

This was his first opportunity to play on his future home court.

"It was a nice experience."

The 6'-6", 215 pound wing player believes he can make a positive contribution as a freshman at Illinois.

"I feel like I could, yeah. I have heart, so I think that will put me in front of a lot of people. My competitive drive is nice. I'm just gonna come in and try to contribute what I can, probably be a shooter and scorer."

Henry can post up and finish inside, but he also has a sweet jumper with unlimited range. He may end up being the best player in an outstanding class of five entering Illinois next fall according to his coach Lou Adams.

"I hate to lose him to Illinois, but all good things come to an end. Hell of a great ball player, great kid, versatile ball player."

Adams says Henry's best days are ahead of him.

"He's only been playing two years. There's a lot more experiences, a lot more things to do in this basketball circuit."

Henry is noticeably stronger and heavier now than the summer.

"Yeah, I've hit the weights a little bit. Trying to get my mass up."

What are the things he needs to improve upon?

"My defense is the number one thing. And just trying to tweak all the aspects of my game."

The star for Lee High School was 6'-7" guard Devin Langford, who has since committed to Illinois. Henry is impressed with his future teammate.

"He's a player who can do a lot of things that can contribute to the team."

Henry is looking forward to working with fellow freshmen Mike Shaw, Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu and Langford.

"We are all close. We've gotten to know each other. It'll come down to us all knowing each other's strengths and weaknesses. We'll be fine."

Orr has a quality team that has a chance to contend in the state playoffs. Adams provided a teaching moment for his young prodigy while satisfying media needs.

"We're looking to come down here in March. If we can get Mycheal to play some defense, we'll be okay."

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