Duez Henderson was one of the best Prime Time League players that has come through that summer league.
Always a near perfect athletic specimen, Henderson was at his best in the open, pick-up style of ball that is played in the PTL.
During his Iowa years, Henderson was a solid role player, averaging nearly eight points and six rebounds per game for his career.
He played a key role down the stretch for Iowa during their 2001 Big Ten tournament championship run on both ends of the court.
Now, he and former Hawkeye teammate Jason Price are spending their seasons in Europe, and Henderson is putting up numbers more similar to his PTL exploits than what we saw on the court at Iowa.
"This year I averaged more than 30 points and 12 rebounds per game. It's not the very top pro league in Europe, but it is respected. I have more freedom there." Henderson said when we caught up with him recently.
"At Iowa, I was playing with some pretty good guys. Now I am getting to show what I am capable of, similar to when I played in the Prime Time League."
Henderson plays for the Krefeld Panthers in Germany, and midway through last year's season that runs from September through late March, he welcomed his former Hawkeye teammate onto his European team.
"Our team was struggling early on. We have an American coach, he has been over there for 20 years and he trusts me. We were having problems at the point position, but I lobbied to get them to bring Jason over. I told them about him, the numbers he had put up in Europe." Henderson said.
"I put them in contact with him, and he ended up flying over and he helped us a lot in the second half of the season. We only lost two games, and I think that was greatly due to him."
Henderson is currently in negotiations to head back over to Krefeld, the team that he has played on four the past two seasons and an area he has come to enjoy.
"The city is similar to Detroit. It is a pretty big city. Where I am at, it is Americanized. Everyone speaks English. It is real good in that way. We have all of the same fast food places. When I get tired of cooking, I can always go to McDonald's. It is real similar." Henderson said.
Though Henderson is not making multi-millions like most NBA players enjoy, he is able to earn a solid living playing the game that he loves.
"It's enough to make a good living. I am not going to get rich, but I am making money playing basketball. We can save the money. I don't have any expenses. The apartment is paid for and the car is paid for. Some teams get you meals and I get gas money. So basically, I can save everything."
In recent ‘off seasons', Henderson and Price have worked at summer camps, but they have decided to go a different direction this year and venture out on their own.
"We are going to do some personal basketball training. Last summer, we thought about doing something like this. We looked at a lot of camps that were going on, but there were not too many places where you could get individualized training. You get that at a camp, but maybe like half an hour." Henderson said.
The ‘this' that he is referring to is ‘Bound for Glory: Basketball Training and Consulting'. He says is much more personal than your typical summer camp, and he went of his way to not refer to it as a ‘camp' at all.
"This way, there are 90 minute sessions. The players get to be with Jason and I one on one for 90 minutes going over the game of basketball. So it's not a camp. It's personalized training."
"Both Jason and I have done a lot of camp work over the past three or four summers. It's great to be around the kids and have some fun. It is a real great way to start coaching earlier, but without the commitment that a coach has. We enjoy the teaching aspect, but we don't have the obligations that coaches have year round." Henderson explained.
As of right now, they plan to hold their specialized training sessions in Fairfield and Iowa City, but are looking to expand into other cities around the state of Iowa.
"We are both former Hawks, and we have a good name in the state of Iowa. People will recognize us, and they know that we gave it all we had at Iowa." Henderson said.
"We recently went around to a few schools, one of them being Fairfield, and seeing fourth or fifth grade kids remembering who I was when I played for Iowa. That is a neat thing, and it gets me excited to give something back to the fans."
Henderson admitted that he would have liked to play more minutes while at Iowa, and some people might expect that his memories of his time in Iowa City might not be all that great. But Henderson is quick to point out that is just not the case.
"It's funny. A lot of people don't think that I would want to be involved with the University, thinking that I would be upset that I didn't get to play more. Sure, everyone wants to play more, but my time at Iowa, the people that I was able to meet, the impact I was able to have on children when I was there, the relationships that I developed…those have kept growing. I learned that there was a lot more than just playing basketball for Iowa when I was there, and more than just the effort I gave to the University of Iowa. I received a lot more than just an education. And this is our chance to give back."
If you or someone you know might be interested in letting some young basketball players know more about the Bound For Glory Training and Consulting program, click on the following link to learn more details: http://www.bound4glorysports.com/.
Here are some of the areas that will be taught, from their website:
Left, Right hand, crossover, between legs, behind back, back up dribble, change of speed, protecting the ball, ball control, fingertip work.
Spot up, off dribble, using cuts, pull up, jab step, shot fake, turnaround jumper, creating space, sweep & drive, good catch & pivot, reading screens & defense.
Know angles, court vision, on the move, chest pass, bounce pass, overhead pass, baseball pass, reading the defense, catching.
Footwork, passing out post, read how defense is playing you, know where you are on the floor, know angles
turnaround jumper, drop step, jump hook, sky hook, pump fake and power, Sikma move.
Power and Finesse moves, Multiple moves.